We would all like to think we'll come through when the chips are down. Faced with a dire emergency, we'd not panic and we'd make the right decisions.
A handful of people don't have to wonder. On April 24, they came upon a fire in an upstairs apartment in downtown Gardnerville and did all the things they needed to do to rescue a family.
Honored last week by Douglas County commissioners and East Fork firefighters were John Scott, Colleen Goulart, Roxanne Burton, Victor Carter, Rick Romano and Stacey Holst.
Their actions that day saved the lives of three people. It was the stuff of movies, except movies are fiction. This was real.
Scott, a 58-year-old insurance agent, saw the smoke and flames, then heard a young girl scream. He broke down a door and, with the help of the others, dragged the Collins family to safety.
"There were a lot of people that got moving and that made the difference," Scott said as the awards were handed out.
We would like to add our thanks to these residents of small-town Nevada, the kind of people we are proud to call neighbors and who affirm our faith in the willingness of people to respond when needed.
In truth, it's something we hear about nearly every day.
Few are as spectacular as a fire rescue, but they are heroes too who send donations to devastated families, who stop to lend a hand at accidents, who care for the less fortunate in hundreds of small ways.
We have great faith, as well, in the professional fire and rescue crews who choose to spend their days and nights responding to one crisis after another.
Unfortunately, recent days have seen more than a fair share of unhappy endings, including the loss of lives in the Carson River and Lahontan Lake. Not all rescuers who try are going to succeed.
There is comfort, though, in knowing we live in communities where we can count on people to make that effort. And who do, sometimes, make all the difference.