The best gift costs the least amount

Roscommon - We’re sure at this time of year your mind automatically draws a correlation, secretly of course, between the words in the headline and the gift or gifts we’re hoping to receive.

As for the giving part, well, there is always that wrestling match between the cost of an item and the intrinsic value we hope to pass on to someone. Obviously, getting the most for the least is on the minds of many, especially when Jr.’s list is a mile and a half long.

This holiday season, in emergency services, we think we may in some small way be able to help getting a valuable gift for very little.

You see, after you’ve been at it a while you begin to notice certain trends that occur. In our world of fire and health safety, around this time of year, anxiety and depression issues seem to bubble up to the surface creating health problems and concerns. 

We’re not going into figures and statistics here, (there are literally thousands of reports on depression and anxiety), but we did have some internal discussions on what we can do.

We spoke with Fire Chief Nick Sergeant of the Markey Township Fire Department. Nick is not only the Chief at Markey, but he is also the president of the Roscommon Fire Chiefs Association. After some informal discussions with his organization, the consensus was that yes, this is a concern.

While these health conditions are best left to the doctors and nurses to diagnose and treat, bear in mind that a little help from family, friends and neighbors might make the health difference of someone teetering on the verge.

 Organizations such as the Chiefs Association, and entities like Denton Township EMS and Houghton Lake EMS are all primed and ready to assist. No one in emergency services likes to just point out a problem without a possible solution, we’re take-charge people, so at the risk of repeating a few tips out of the past, we offer a few suggestions.

This is a great time of year to take the opportunity to knock on the door and say “hello”, or call, or send a card to that person or persons that you know may be alone, lonely or sick. Particularly at this time of year, a handshake or “how ya doin?” can go a long way in changing how someone feels.

This in turn can influence how a person attends to themselves, such as sleep and diet and motivation to get around and exercise or move. Not too many negatives there. Just the potential for better health.

In short, spreading a little holiday cheer around our families and neighborhoods might just be the ticket to a little better mental health for all of us. We’re not going to stop there and simply point things out to you though. All of us in the emergency services want to practice what we preach.

So, from all of us across the area in departments like Richfield and Higgins, the folks at Gerrish and Lyon, in Lake and the hospitals we work with, along with all the men and women too numerous to mention here, we say thank you for all you do for us.

While we can’t send each one of you a card or gift, we send our warm wishes for a magnificent holiday season. Whether alone in your home or surrounded by a crowd, our thoughts are there with you; for joy, health, happiness and safety. Folks, the cost of a warm heart is cheap, you decide the value. Happy holidays.

Ken Elmore, Markey Township firefighter

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