We of humankind have a variety of foibles in our arsenal. One of them is taking something for granted - we've all tripped over that one at some stage of this unpredictable screenplay called life.
In this region we are fortunate - but then again every region of this country is fortunate because the general Kiwi approach to things is if something needs doing we better get on and do it.
If there is a gap in the great scheme of things somewhere we ought to get on and plug it.
If something vital is missing then we'll set off and find it, or create a solid alternative.
The emergency services of this land are, I daresay, often taken for granted. People know that if they find themselves in a spot of bother, be it on a mountainside when a rogue and unpredictable southerly whips up or at sea when an equipment failure coupled with a rising sea means there is a cloud of uncertainty growing over the future, there are organisations "out there" which can respond rapidly and effectively.
You will often read of rescues from wild bush or frozen terrain and, in some situations, had rescue services not been there, then those in peril may not have seen another daybreak - the well-marshalled search-and-rescue teams, the rapid-response rescue helicopter services and the storm-defying sea-borne Coastguard units.
Recall the terrible snowstorms which swamped the Napier-Taupo Rd a few Octobers back and how the 4WD club folks got to otherwise impassable terrain and went rescuing. Saints, one and all.
We should all say thanks - and next time you see fundraising events for the Lowe Corporation Rescue Service and Hawke's Bay Volunteer Coastguard, give them some folding stuff. They cannot be taken for granted.