EDITORIAL Cooperation is key in emergency response

We’ve had two house fires in the past couple of weeks where fire departments from Ely, Morse-Fall Lake and Babbitt have worked together seemingly seamlessly. That doesn’t always happen when their governing bodies get together.
The two fires were similar in they happened during the day and grew into massive blazes with flames shooting high in the air. While firefighters donned air tanks and sprayed thousands of gallons of water, anyone who could pitched in to help.
At the June 4 fire there were people walking down Chapman Street with cases of water for the firefighters.
On June 23 when massive lengths of hose had to be hauled several blocks to a different water main, people who weren’t even on the department jumped in to help.
A community was bound together by pitching in wherever they could. That’s a far cry from what we’ve had to endure in watching riots across the country.
Away from the acrid smoke smell, the local governments that make up the Ely Area Ambulance Joint Powers Board met in Winton to discuss how to better respond when someone needs medical attention.
The two townships and the two cities have had a rocky relationship at times in the past. Wednesday was different. Sure, the discussions often reflected the interest of a specific local government, but issues were presented without anger, without malice and without accusation.
Could this be a starting block toward more cooperation in the future? And if so, did watching three fire departments, an ambulance service and local law enforcement work together to battle two house fires strike a match of understanding?
We hope so and it was encouraging to see a meeting where there was a willingness from all parties to find common ground.
That’s something we haven’t always seen in the past. And it sure was refreshing in a time where our country is being torn apart. Let’s hope it’s a sign of the times in Ely, Minnesota.