If our Lake Oswego City Council had the same caring attitude manifested by Fire Chief Ed Wilson, we probably wouldn't have seen all the controversy that has occurred in our city in the last few years.
On Feb. 6, our daughter-in-law, accompanied by our two grandsons, took us to PDX for a flight to Los Angeles, which was the first leg of a trip to New Zealand. Our 3½ -year-old grandson, Gray, was wearing his toy firefighter's helmet and a jacket that he likened to those worn by firefighters. We were in the 'food court area' when a very distinguished looking man walked up and squatted down in front of Gray, and started talking about his firefighter's helmet. He handed Gray his business card, and then handed one to my wife, and we became aware that he was Chief Ed Wilson of the Lake Oswego Fire Department. We were really impressed that a man in his position would take the time to talk to a little boy about his firefighter's helmet, and then to invite him to visit his fire station.
Gray took the card home and put it in a special place so his older brother wouldn't find it. When we returned from our trip, my wife stopped by the main fire station, and talked to Chief Wilson about the boys visiting the fire station. He made an appointment for Friday, Feb. 29, at 1 p.m. and put it in his computer.
Our grandsons were really looking forward to the visit and on that Friday, could hardly think of anything else. Chief Wilson greeted us in a very friendly manner, let the boys sit in the seat of the 1923 GMC fire truck that is on display and then introduced us to the three duty firefighters who took us on a tour of the station. The boys got to climb up into the cab of the new fire engine and inspect it, as long as they did not touch any of the buttons. The staff was genuinely interested in talking to the boys, and us, about the equipment. Chief Wilson joined us again while we were inspecting the new fire engine. He was very informative about the cost, the capabilities and the functions of this magnificent piece of equipment.
Lake Oswego is very fortunate to have Chief Wilson in the position he is in, and judging from the firefighters we met last Friday, we are also very fortunate to have the fine personnel that staff our fire stations. I believe that the portion of our property tax dollars that go to support the fire department is very well spent.
I would like to publicly thank Chief Wilson for his kind act of taking the time to talk to a little boy in the airport, demonstrating a caring attitude that all too often is lacking in our public officials.
John W. Thompson, M.D., is a resident of Lake Oswego