Fulton Heights honors firefighters with picnic

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Lee Ann Sides Garrett
For the Salisbury Post
Firetrucks containing about 30 Salisbury firefighters parked at the intersection of Stanley Street and Wiley Avenue Wednesday evening.
But there was no fire. The firefighters were answering a call from residents of the Fulton Heights neighborhood to attend a picnic in appreciation of their service to the community.
“We wanted to thank them for what they do for us,” said Melissa Shue, picnic organizer. “You have to have a certain soul to be a firefighter.”
Filling Centennial Park, residents listened to Shakeisha Gray, vice president of the Fulton Heights Homeowners Association, speak about the importance of community.
“Whenever we need help, the first to walk through the door are firefighters,” Gray said. “Their response shows where we rank on their list and we want to let them know they rank pretty high on our list.”
Shue says the neighborhood wanted to help immediately after the March 7 Salisbury Millwork fire that took the lives of firefighters Justin Monroe and Victor Isler. But she said Rowan County responded so well, they decided to wait.
Eddie and Lisa Monroe, parents of Justin Monroe, stood with a group of firefighters as Teresa Pitner read a poem titled “What is a Firefighter?”
“It really meant a lot that Lisa and Eddie were here to enjoy this,” Capt. Mark Thompson said.
Firefighter Eric Bost said the picnic was about “community support.” Thompson agreed.
“We’ve seen some of these people on calls and helped them,” Thompson said. “It’s nice to see them in a relaxed atmosphere.”
Pitner said the event is typical of the community spirit among Fulton Heights residents.
“We’re so closely knit,” Pitner said. “We don’t just complain about problems or needs. We all get together and do something about it.”
“We wanted them to know we still remember,” Shue said. “Sirens sound different to me now. It’s a constant reminder.”