Pastor Gordon Hauptman of Crossroads Foursquare Church in Payson retired Aug. 31 after 25 years of service as an EMT in the Tempe Fire Department.
Laura, Pastor Hauptman's wife, presented the following comments at his recent Retirement Banquet:
"Gordon, you have over 25 years of service as an EMT fireman. Did you ever stop to think that is over 3,100 shifts? If we gave those shifts a modest two calls per shift, they would represent over 6,200 emergency situations. Over 6,200 items, you and your fellow firefighters responded to someone's crisis -- someone's need. How many times were you someone's hero?
"You have always been humble about that, never seeing yourself as a hero. How many families have their husbands and fathers with them today because you were there when a heart attack threatened their lives? How many people in trauma from a car accident did you bring hope to? How many times were you there to offer words of reassurance and comfort to an elderly woman as she was transported in need to the hospital? Gordon, you rarely spoke of these acts and I, even more rarely, still gave you the honor and respect that was your due. The women who you helped safely deliver their babies, the one you saved from a burning vehicle, the woman trapped under the immense weight of a cement truck, the child hit by a car, the family last Christmas who has their home today because of your knowledge and help. These are but a few examples of your heroic work. This may have been everyday work and duty for you, but to these people you are their lifesaver and hero.
"The profession of a firefighter is one that is highly prized, admired and rightly so. This is your retirement party. You will go on to do great things serving others. Your life and calling is one of service others. Tonight, I honor an unsung, humble man who has served his fire department, his fellow man and his God. I honor and hail a true hero and celebrate all that God has accomplished through you, his servant."
Please, at any opportunity, say "thank you" to our police officers and our loyal firefighters.
Tom R. Huffman, Payson