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The Cherryville Eagle

HEROES WORK HERE! CFD firefighters love their jobs and protecting people

CFD Driver/Engineer Barry Heavner and Captain Chris “Pudge” Cash stand in front of the largest truck in the CFD arsenal of firefighting equipment. (photo by MEP/The Eagle)

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Cherryville firefighters, like all who serve their towns and communities, along with their fellow public servants and employees, love their jobs and they love helping people.
That’s not to say it isn’t tough sometimes or that it’s easy; it’s not and many times it can be heartbreaking when things don’t go well on a call or there is imminent danger involved.
They are, as has always been said and duly noted, the ones “who rush in (toward danger) when others are rushing out (away from it).”
Nowhere is this more true than with the
two Hometown Heroes who have worked for the Cherryville Fire department for a total of 65-plus years: Capt. Chris “Pudge” Cash and Driver/Engineer Barry Heavner.
Said Barry, “I have been with the CFD for 27 years (paid); and 30 years overall.” For Chris, it has been 37 in the fire service overall; 21 of them at CFD, he noted.
Both of the men don’t think of themselves as “heroes” per se, and get a bit embarrassed by the reference, but they know that people tend to say such about firefighters and others first responders and law enforcement officers, nurses, and such during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For D/E Heavner, doing what he loves is about, “Making a difference about things, saving a life, giving a kid a smile, or watching him smile when you give him a (toy red) fire hat during Fire Day or at some school event.”
Cash agreed, adding, “For me it’s about the satisfaction of being able to help someone.”
Both said, “Doing good never gets old.”
Barry said it’s also about loving your home town (both men were born here, went to school here, and call Cherryville home).
“It used to be you knew everybody. Now, not so much as some have moved, passed away, or new people have moved here,” he said.
Captain Cash added, “Us knowing a lot of people helps us (in our job); people know us and they’re glad to see you. A familiar face goes a long way in what we do.”
Heavner agreed, saying, “Knowing there is somebody coming to help me that I can talk to. That helps a lot.”
The two firefighters know the Lord has blessed both of them as they go about their jobs.
Cash added to that by saying, “Yes. We’ve had a lot of good influences over the years. Most folks are kind of glad to see you (on a call).”
He continued. “We do a lot of things that most Fire Department’s don’t do, such as opening locked car doors, helping folks get into their houses, help with lifting folks, maybe sometimes helping them in with groceries; things like that.”
Said Heavner, “It’s the little things like that. They add up. It’s helping your community in the big things as well as in the little, or small things.”
The key, they both feel, to it all is teamwork.
Captain Cash said, “It takes all of us. All of our guys in the CFD are heroes. It’s not just us.”
Said Barry, “We all take great pride in what we do. Honestly, I never really thought about considering doing anything else. I don’t necessarily want recognition for it (being a ‘hero’). I love what I do.”
Chris indicated he feels the same way, and added, “It’s all about self-satisfaction in helping others as much as we can.”