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PLATTSMOUTH – Ever wonder why men and women sign up to be first responders knowing their lives may be at risk to save others from life-threatening disasters?

Plattsmouth Fire Chief Mike Wilson perhaps said it best.

“We do the job because we love the job.”

Their commitment to the safety of others was recognized last Saturday at a ‘Thank You’ dinner at D.C.’s Waterhole in downtown Plattsmouth.

“For us, it was something to say thanks,” said Denise Covert-Zych, co-owner of D.C.’s Waterhole.

Approximately 240 attended the fish fry/pulled pork event with money raised going to area first responders and law enforcement agenices.

Among those at the event were dozens of first responders who ate free courtesy of the organizers.

“We raised $3,007 and that’s pretty good,” Covert-Zych said.

That money will be split evenly between the Plattsmouth Police Department, Fire Department and EMT staff and the Cass County Sheriff’s Department to spend as they choose.

The highlight of the day was the unveiling of an American flag created on wood that was the work of two men, Drew Clayton, owner of ACW Studio, and Heath Montanye, owner of The Shed Customs. The flag is partially burned to indicate the dangers that firefighters and other first responders face. At the right are two combined emblems of firefighters and emergency management crews.

It took months to make this flag, which now hangs in the Plattsmouth fire station, Clayton said.

“They give so much to us,” he said of the first responders. “They help us when we need it the most. It’s our way to give back. It’s about them and thanking them.”

Upon seeing it for the first time Wilson said, “This is outstanding.”

For the community to do something like this means so much to him and all first responders, he said.

The event was organized by Butch Choate and his son, Toby, as their way of saying thanks.

“We thought it would be a good thing,” Butch said.

He recalled how his residence along the Platte River filled up with water that reached his knees in some 20 to 30 minutes time before first responders came to rescue him and his wife in March.

“They deserve this,” Butch said of the event.

It has already been a busy year for area first responders with flood rescues, increased traffic accident calls, and other emergencies that occur frequently.

And, the year isn’t over yet.

“We’re sitting at 206 calls as of 2 a.m. this (Saturday) morning,” Wilson said.

This compares to 226 calls his crews handled all of last year, he said.

“And, we still have two months to go,” he added.

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