It’s an idiom old enough and trite enough to be in the hall of fame for clichés: Practice makes perfect.

It is thanks to the hard work and training from our own Oil Springs Fire and Rescue that we are running a story this week about a kayaker being rescued rather than something more tragic. 

These are first responders who saw the need for water rescue capabilities in Johnson County and answered the call in a big way, obtaining certifications and the necessary equipment to keep watercraft enthusiasts safe.

That call is even bigger with towns and counties around the region partnering together on water trails in an effort to entice more adventure tourism in the shadow of the coal economy. Johnson County is now in a network from West Virginia all the way to Ashland, and such partnerships don’t work without the infrastructure in place to make sure our waterways are a safe place to have fun.

We see that vigilance on display when these rescuers stand at the ready for events like the Chatterwha Trace River Run.

Training for moving water rescue is no easy task, and we commend these individuals for taking on that hard work.

Johnson County’s kids, too, put in a year of practice that paid dividends in Orlando, Florida. Our local academic teams would not be bringing home so much hardware year after year, on regional, national and international stages, without the efforts of the students, the coaches and the parents. Like any other extracurricular competition, it relies on practice.

“Practice makes perfect” is only really an idiom, though, because there is no such thing as “perfect.” Speaking literally, practice merely helps us be our best. It takes effort to put in that practice.

What’s most significant about that practice is that it sometimes doesn’t show reward for weeks, months or even years. Most of the people working to make Johnson County great are volunteers, and that’s a whole new level of community involvement, hard work and discipline that deserves to be commended even more, because these are people who simply see an opportunity or recognize a need and step up to the plate to make it a reality. 

As long as people like this are willing to spend time they could spend having their feet kicked up at home bettering our community and our region, Johnson County and Eastern Kentucky as a whole have a future, and we owe endless thanks to these volunteer leaders. 

That being said, The Paintsville Herald would like to extend a thank you to community members including parents, coaches, firefighters, artists, and many more who make apparent a problem we don’t mind having – there are too many of you to list or thank individually, and that is why Johnson County continues to lead the charge in competition and cooperation for our region.

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