It was powerful hearing of the heroics of Sebring Police Officer Sean Bueford last week for saving a man who had hanged himself, as well as an incident years ago when he spotted a woman inside a burning house and rescued her.
Bueford is the kind of person we want protecting our communities, and the good news is that we have many of them out there working for our police departments, sheriff's office and our firefighters.
We know law enforcement deals with plenty of bad guys and fire departments put out fires, what some people don't consider is how many lives they save that never can be quantified because they prevented violent crime from happening in the first place or put out a fire that could have harmed others if not handled properly.
Law enforcement do much more than just arrest people. They diffuse dangerous situations on a daily basis. It's impossible to quantify how many domestic arguments could have been much worse, or the number of fights they prevent by being on the scene, talking to the people involved and finding a peaceful resolution.
Dispatchers deal with distraught people in emergency situations and save lives by calming or instructing citizens what to do until help arrives. We've all heard the 911 tapes of dispatchers helping someone through CPR or some other lifesaving technique, or how to stay safe.
Firefighters also don't have to carry someone out of the flames to save lives. Their knowledge of dealing with these dangerous situations saves lives almost every day. It's something they aren't recognized for because it's part of their job.
It takes special professionals to do this kind of work and deal with difficult situations like this on a regular basis. By talking with people and just being there at critical times can make all the difference in the world.
Extreme cases such as the one Bueford was honored for happen enough, but more frequently it's something that hasn't reached that point that they are called in to deal with, and much more often than not there is a good resolution.
We value the men and women, most unsung heroes, for protecting the public. We certainly hear when one of them goes bad or does something wrong, so it's great to hear when they do exceptional work. And the vast majority of the time, they are doing a fine job - even when it's not always apparent.