The deaths and injury of three Indiana and Kentucky firefighters in the past week remind us of how often these brave men and women put themselves in harm's way.

On Tuesday, New Carlisle Assistant Fire Chief Jamie Middlebrook was fatally injured when a roof collapsed on him while he helped fight a fire at a business about 15 miles west of South Bend.

On Wednesday, a mother and her son, both firefighters, were in the "mop up" phase of putting out a van fire along a busy interstate near Glendale, Ky., when a semitrailer slammed into their fire truck, killing the son and injuring his mother.

Jonathan French, 25, was killed and his mother, Lisa French, was taken to a hospital where she was in serious condition.

Jonathan French was a third-generation firefighter whose parents met while volunteering for the Glendale Department, about 50 miles south of Louisville.

We're fortunate to have outstanding fire protection in the Courierea. Departments on both side of the Ohio River are staffed by volunteers.

That volunteer status, however, makes those men and women no less professional. We'd put their skills up against any departments in the nation.

As with most volunteer-based operations, the need is always there for additional help. If you're physically able and can devote the time required consider joining one of our local companies.

Yes, the job can be dangerous, but you can't put a price on the feeling of saving lives and property.