By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Atmore residents probably sleep well, knowing that local firefighters are always a phone call away if a crisis arises. Now, thanks to a recent encounter with the owners of a local business, the firemen themselves can sleep better while they’re on call.
Atmore Fire Department personnel, who work 24-hour shifts every three days, are benefiting from the November 13 donation to the department of 10 mattresses and sheet sets from the owners of a local furniture store.
Fire Chief Ron Peebles said he and several fire officers had been shopping for a recliner for AFD’s Pensacola Avenue station for some time and had decided to buy one that was on sale at Home Style Furniture on Main Street, which is owned by Terry and Kimberly Kelly.
The donation was proposed and accepted during that transaction.
“We didn’t even ask for the mattresses,” Peebles said. “The way it happened, the subject came up while we were purchasing a recliner. Terry asked about our mattresses at the firehouses, and I told them the ones we had were 10 to 12 years old. He said he and his wife could donate enough new ones for both stations, and I took him up on it.”
Peebles added that half the brand-name bedding is being used at the main AFD station at Atmore City Hall, while the rest are helping improve the quality of sleep for firefighters at the Pensacola Avenue station.
“When we heard they hadn’t had new mattresses in about 13 years, we decided it was past time for them to be a little more comfortable and to get a bit more restful sleep while they are waiting to spring into action protecting us,” Terry Kelly said. “It’s just our way to help honor some of our first responders and let them know we appreciate the work they do.”
Peebles added that the new mattresses have been a hit with AFD’s rank and file.
“We really appreciate Terry and Kimberly for donating those mattresses,” the fire chief said. “The guys are better rested and they say they love them.”