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On the Front Lines: Thank you for your service to the community

Inside this issue, you will find Profile 2021, the newspaper’s largest publication of the year and the one of which I am most proud.   

It is the culmination of a lot of planning that began in September, and it came together thanks to the efforts of people who worked hard to honor those whose stories you’ll read inside.  

Not all superheroes wear capes, so this year’s theme was selected to pay respect to the folks in Hartselle and Morgan County who wake up every day and make a choice to put on a badge or a pair of scrubs. They often make a choice to sacrifice time in the evenings, weekends or holidays that they could be spending with their families to take care of or protect others. Sometimes they put their very lives at risk for people they have never met.  

A common thread among these people is their desire to better the community in which they live and help others. If you ask me, the people who fill the pages of this year’s Profile, and all other frontline workers, are the best of us.  

I was honored to write a few of these stories myself and learn more about friends and neighbors who work in mental health, in the healthcare industry, on an ambulance or in the school system. It’s amazing what you can learn about a person when you ask about what led them down a career path into public service.  

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges for everyone, and these frontline workers and first responders are no exception. For people like Chris and Rebecca Hill, their jobs are made exponentially more difficult because of the virus, yet they still work their 12-24 hour shifts at Lifeguard Ambulance saving lives.  

Kelli Morton works at Hartselle City Schools where she puts her handson experience as a hospital nurse to work protecting children from the coronavirus. Hers is another job that changes daily, if not multiple times a day.  

I’m always so thankful to our readership, and I hope you will enjoy reading the stories of those featured in Profile 2021. As a reminder: These folks are not superhuman, even though they might appear to be, and a little grace, patience and appreciation go a long way. If you see a frontline worker in the community, remember to say thank you for all they do