During a recent Plymouth Township Meeting I ventured somewhere I have never been before, the hallway that runs behind the stage where Council sits. What I found was awesome. In previous trips, I have previously noticed this dark hallway but never paid much attention to it and the pictures which stretch its entire length. For the first time - I went down the hall and found powerful professional pictures featuring just some of the men and women from the police, fire and ems services. Each picture hangs above a first-person account of the respective responder's "worst" day on the job.
The stories told in these tributes serve as a poignant reminder, even in a "little" town like Plymouth and the surrounding areas for that matter, the people on the front lines deal with real life and death issues every day.
As we meander from one daily activity to another or are sitting on our sofa in our comfortable house and hear sirens faintly in the distance, the people who serve are responding to a call for help which could in itself write a new story for this wall.
These pictures have been in place for about five years and are the product of a senior capstone project for Photographer Emily Thomas. We reached out to Emily who explained, "All seniors at Cazenovia College are required to pick a topic to photograph for a gallery exhibition and present an oral defense about the work in order to graduate with [a] BFA. I had already been around emergency services from being a member of Plymouth Fire Co. and operating as their Fire Photographer. The world of emergency services has always fascinated me and for previous classes, I had shown on-location photography work of emergency services from fire/accident scenes and organically it became the focal point of my senior capstone in a new and unique way. Focusing on the individuals and not the incidents, I had not seen this done before. The project would call for each participant to write the story of their worst day on the job. I would not edit these [stories] to keep the authenticity of their personal words but only enhance them with images of the individuals." These pictures are on permanent loan to Plymouth Township with Emily retaining ownership in the event the Township no longer wants them displayed or wishes to move them. You can find Emily on Facebook here and on the web here.
Next time you are in the Township building, make it a point to visit this wall. The stories and their pictures are sure to give you an even greater appreciation for what our local heroes do for their community. I am sure there is even a light switch in the area to help you see better!