First responders use lights to signal strength, solidarity amid COVID-19 crisis

SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. Sun Prairie Fire and Rescue used their stations to bring light to dark times.

Sun Prairie Fire Station was one of many departments across the country who turned on their fire truck lights at 7 p.m. Wednesday to bring hope amid the covid-19 crisis.

“This is a very trying time for our nation. These individuals, us included, are all at the front line,” John Austed, Sun Prairie Fire assistant chief said.

All is calm at the Sun Prairie Fire and Rescue station tonight, but Austed said the first responders stand ready.

“We’re not going anywhere so when the pager goes off for us when it goes off we’ll be there for the community right away,” he said.

The assistant chief said they wanted to give strength to those who are on the front lines daily fighting this pandemic.

“We’re banding together with doctors, nurses, truck drivers, grocery store attendants,” Austed said.

At 7 p.m., first responders here and across the country opened the bay doors and their hearts, turning all the lights on the fire trucks to signal strength and hope.

“This is our job and what we all love doing. We’re proud to be at the front lines to help our community out,” Austed said.

And to act as a source of light in the midst of darkness.

“We’re all going to get through this together and that’s the only way we’re going to get through this,” Austed said.

The department also had people at home join in by turning on their porch lights. Fire officials said their overall goal was to create five minutes of smiles and peace during this challenging time.