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Give thanks to those who risk their lives to help others

The lead story for the Greenville Advocate features a photo of

Greenville Firefighter Les Liller after exiting a burning home.. Through smoke and fire, Liller risked his life to help others. Something firefighters do on an everyday basis.

In 1999, 112 firefighters lost their lives while on-duty last year, according to the annual Firefighter Fatalities in the United States report released by the United States Fire Administration's (USFA) National Fire Data Center. This was the highest loss since 1989 when 119 firefighters lost their lives in the line of duty.

"The increased loss of firefighters' lives last year gives strong voice to the continued need for data collection to describe the national fire problem," said USFA's Chief Operating Officer, Kenneth O. Burris Jr. "The lessons learned from the circumstances surrounding these tragic incidents are uesd by fire departments from around the world to help make the work of fighting fires safer."

Greenville residents are lucky to have such hardworking men and women giving something back to the community

many times, their lives. Without these community services, fatalities would increase as would the amount of homes lost every year.