My father, James Condron, was a firefighter and paramedic for the Norwood Fire Department. In December 1977, he was treating a man who had overdosed on drugs and alcohol. The man was unconscious, presumably on his way out, but my dad did what paramedics do…he tried to save the guy.
You know what they say about no good deed going unpunished? As he was placing an IV into the patient, the man’s arm suddenly jerked, plunging the needle into my father’s finger. Now, this is 1977, long before protective gloves, face masks, and the precautions we all take to avoid coming in contact with another person’s bodily fluids. As fate would have it, this overdose victim was a carrier of Hepatitis B. My father, in his attempt to save this man, himself became a victim.
Seven years later, my father died of complications from Hepatitis B, including cirrhosis of the liver and encephalitis. In other words, it was a slow, painful death.
There is much more to the story, but the reason I share this now is to bring your attention to a very worthy cause – one that was inspired by my father and one of his coworkers, Bobby Plogman, another brave Norwood firefighter who died in the line of duty.
On Saturday, April 25, the Norwood Firefighters Association is holding their annual charity golf outing. If you’d like to register to golf, sponsor a hole or just contribute to the fund, you can visit their site here. They have an impressive list of donations and sponsorships that have been made possible by the Association, so please think of them as you consider possible charities you’d like to support.
Firemen are a special breed of human beings. They run toward danger, not away from it. They go to work every day, not entirely sure they’ll be home at the end of their shifts. But perhaps their most distinctive trait is the willingness to do for others. There’s just no debate…you can always count on a firefighter.
Thanks to the Norwood Firefighters Association for continuing to keep the spirits of Jim Condron and Bobby Plogman alive and well. Our families are very grateful.
April 16, 2015