To the Editor:

   I would like to say farewell to Robert Ervin and wish a quick recovery to Dave Endicott. At times like this the right words are hard to find.
   New Year's Day was a good day for a lot of football fans; however, it was a time of grief for those people involved in the Jefferson County and Warm Springs public safety communities. Warm Springs Police Officer David Endicott was hit "head-on" on U.S. Highway 26, in the upper section of the Warm Springs Reservation. It took two hours to extricate Officer Endicott from his patrol vehicle. Sadly, a driver was in a hurry and recklessly decided to pass a few cares, and the drive hit Officer Endicott in the officer's own lane of traffic. He had several fractures and it in critical condition at St. Charles Medical Center at the time of this letter.
   Earlier in the day, EMT-Paramedic Robert "Bob" Ervin lost his life while assisting at an accident scene on Highway 97, in Jefferson County. It is my understanding that Bob responded with two other ambulance crew members to a motor vehicle accident and was laying out flares on the highway when a semi-truck jackknifed, hit and killed him.
   My heart and prayers go out to Dave, the friends and family of Dave Endicott and Bob Ervin, and all the paid and volunteer police, fireman, and Emergency Medical Services personnel who support public safety in our communities. As we learned from the Sept. 11 massacre, EMT's, police and firefighters do not always get the thanks and praise that they deserve. I would like the community to continue their support of the volunteer and paid firefighters, EMT's, and police, in whatever form they choose.
   As a tribute to these men and women I specifically would like to challenge the Pioneer to have a monthly profile, biography or human interest story of our community's local hero's such a the "Senior of the Month" that is profiled in the Pioneer. A short human-interest story about our community volunteers and professional people who are helping make this community a better place to live would also benefit the Pioneer's readers. This "local heroes" monthly article would not only profile EMT's, Firefighters, Sheriff and Police; but also extend to volunteer teachers, SMART readers, Library volunteers, Scout Masters, and Coaches.
   Mark Matthews
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