Appreciating Our Real-Life Superheroes

By Aaron Neuman. On this day in 1976, two Lakewood firemen were killed as they battled a blaze engulfing the Allaben Hotel, which was located on the corner of 5th Street and Monmouth Avenue.

Firemen Stanley Marks, Alex Latyshev, and George Reynolds were trapped by flames on the second floor of the building, and while Reynolds was able to escape with his life, Marks and Latyshev tragically succumbed to their injuries.

Firemen are living, breathing superheroes that we too often take for granted. Along with police officers, firemen act as human shields for us, the first line of defense against threats to our safety. When a fire breaks out, the natural inclination is to run in the opposite direction. Not so for our brave firemen. They suit up, hop in a truck, and run directly into fiery infernos, their only goal being to save the lives of any unfortunate souls trapped in the structure.  In doing so, they and their families are making a tremendous sacrifice – literally relinquishing their right to personal safety for the cause of the common good.

It is too easy for us to take them for granted, and so we do. We know that when danger arises, we call 9-1-1 and policemen, firemen, or EMT’s will show up within minutes. It’s so commonplace, we simply give it no thought. But we should.

When we see a fireman, we should thank them. When we encounter a police officer, even if that encounter is because of a traffic stop, show them your appreciation. These are people who don’t get rich from their jobs – rather, they chose their profession to keep YOU safe.

The deaths of Marks and Latyshev should not be in vain. At the very least, it should be a reminder of the personal and familial sacrifices these heroes make, not for them, but for us.

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  1. Wow! Thank you to the lakewood fire dept for all that you do! I live down the block from a substation and to see them in action every day is amazing! They never say no to the kids that want to see the trucks and they amaze the adults with crazy storys that some of these guys have been through. Everyone forgets about them until you really need them!

  2. We definitely should show appreciation to these fellas.I don’t know if I’d call them superheroes since this is a paid job for a majority of them with significant benefits. You children’s pediatrician, nurses, midwives,teachers, rabbonim, kollel men, among many others are equally deserving of our appreciation.

  3. @ Gee Whiz, Just so you know that the majority of the Lakewood Firefighters and Emt’s are all volunteers! Which means we put in countless hours of training on our own time, after a long day’s work or during a Sunday off. Not to mention at the drop of a tone we stop everything we were doing to come help YOU and lots of times putting our lives on the line! It can be during dinner with the family or 2 hrs after we fell into a deep sleep and have to be up for work. Oh and did I forget to mention….. WE DON’T GET PAYED or have significant benefits!

  4. Remember all your first responders all of them, this holiday, we run days and nights some are paid some are not and remember your Communication Officers too they do this day in and out every day

  5. Paid Ems gross 70k plus per year with benefits. Lakewood police gross 125-175k per year plus many benefits. I appreciate all they do. I certainly appreciate the volunteer ems & fire fighters. You deserve tremendous credit for all you do for our town.
    My point is that many occupations involve risk, choosing it doesn’t make you a superhero. A police officer in Lakewood is a low risk job compared to roofers, cab drivers, nurses, welders, cooks, etc. We need to appreciate all the hard working people in our town.

    • Gee Whiz,
      This article was written about the public safety members in the community. If you wish to highlight other heroes in the community, which I am sure there are those as you mentioned, then go ahead and write your own Op Ed about them.
      Don’t take someone else’s article and use it for your agenda.

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