I am constantly amazed and inspired by people.

Whether it’s friends, acquaintances or people I interview, I am fascinated by their stories. They are average, everyday people overcoming huge obstacles, or maybe it’s the attitude with which they face life's challenges.

Neil Mayo faced stage 4 colon cancer that spread to his liver, but he and his wife were determined to focus on the good in their lives. Unfortunately, Neil passed away a few months after I wrote that story.

In the first days of her life, Nora Yardley had heart surgery. It was the first of multiple for the Esko girl, but her parents held on to hope. Nora is doing well these days.

Everyday people, just living the life they have been given.

Once in a while I wonder how I would react in the same situation. I’m not sure I would do it with the same grace and can-do positive attitude.

Part of my daily work routine includes listening to the scanner. Many days it goes steady. Once in a while there are quiet times. The Cloquet Area Fire District answers calls daily for senior citizens who need help. From various pains, heart issues, or problems breathing, CAFD is there for them.

No matter the agency, calls don't slow down during inclement weather.

As the blizzard raged, the calls for help from stranded drivers came in. Law enforcement and other entities found ways to get through the deep snow, or waited out the storm. They answered calls for vehicles in the ditch, including several that rolled over.

While helping others, two law enforcement vehicles were hit. Luckily the officers were out of their cars helping others and were not injured. Slow down and move into the other lane when passing officers stopped on the side of highways or freeways. Put down your phone. Pay attention to the road.

RELATED: Troopers respond to 19 Carlton County crashes post-blizzard

RELATED: Firefighters respond to Esko call in subzero temps

On the coldest day so far this winter, Esko Fire Department was called to a house fire. Five minutes later another call went out for a rollover crash.

The 911 dispatch employees worked constantly, juggling several calls at the same time.

While the weather caused a few extra issues, the normal calls kept coming in. A senior citizen fell and needed an ambulance. A person threatened to hurt themselves. Another was feeling suicidal. Someone else was out of control. And the drug overdoses — so many in a year. I am both saddened and shocked at the sheer numbers of suicide attempts and overdoses.

Other calls I have heard this year include young children accidentally locked in a room and not able to open the door; a baby with breathing issues as the parents were traveling; and elderly spouses found not breathing. A person got stranded on a rock in the St. Louis River in Jay Cooke State Park and needed rescuing over the summer.

As I listen to the scanner, I wonder how they keep going. It must be tough to answer a call and find a young person who has stopped breathing or try to help people who do not want to be helped.

Just everyday people living their lives. You inspire me. Thank you for doing what you do.

Jamie Lund is a reporter for the Pine Journal. Contact her at jlund@pinejournal.com or 218-879-1950.

Jamie Lund
Jamie Lund