It may be easy to occasionally take our emergency services for granted.
They’re something that’s always there to turn to in an hour of need and something most people will, hopefully, not have much to do with.
But a blaze like the one firefighters tackled in Portsmouth yesterday throws their work into sharp focus.
Rushing to the scene of a situation like that, not quite knowing what they’re going to find must be incredibly nerve-wracking, however professional and long-standing one might be.
And yesterday’s blaze, as anyone who looked out of their window in Portsmouth yesterday morning knows, was a big one.
The huge plume of smoke hung over the city across the autumnal blue sky.
But while anyone who did see it would have wondered what was going on, it was the firefighters who were at the sharp end.
As one of the first on the scene tells The News today, firefighters faced temperatures of around 1,000C as they fought the blaze.
So we applaud the invaluable work our fire crew do.
Whether it’s the biggest blaze, like yesterday, or the fire alarm triggered by burnt toast, they’re there for every one of us and we shouldn’t forget it.
And the dramatic pictures we carry today should drill that message home, particularly to those who make hoax calls to the self-same service.
As we report on page 7, crews were called on Friday to what turned out to be a hoax.
It really is hard to imagine what can motivate someone to make such a call, which could mean crews are tied up and real lives put at risk.
We’re sure the people behind the latest hoax call were looking on and laughing as the fire crew turn up.
But let’s hope they’re reading this and look at the front page today.
That’s the true work of our fire service and everyone should remember that.