Since we’re all talking about love at this time of year, I’d like to share some with a group that never gets enough.. First responders.
I’ve always had great admiration for those who choose these professions, never more than when I encounter one of their ranks in my real life.
Last summer it was an encounter with the local police that brought a first hand understanding of what that job really is. It’s not at all you see on TV or in the movies, sure it’s incredibly challenging and filled with risk every single day, but lots of times it’s handling little things and keeping them from getting bigger, blowing up. Besides being courteous and professional, this officer had an air of command that came to him by nature… he had two furiously angry people in the palm of his hand, and he managed to keep us under control.
Nobody hit anybody. But there was yelling and finger shaking.
My most recent experience with first responders came when the carbon monoxide detectors went off in our home and we had to get out… fast. I didn’t want to bother (yes, I really think like that) 911 so I called through on the fire department business line, was on hold for a bit and then realized 911 might be the better option after all. I was told later that my emergency, while not involving life and death, was worthy of a 911 call. Good to know.
The firemen who responded were, as these guys always are, ready for anything and very efficient. They identified the problem and took care of things. They spoke to us with care and concern. They weren’t thrilled that we were sitting in a garaged car because we didn’t have keys to the one outside, under the snow. It was the three of us, plus a shaken dog and the car was running, but the garage door was open. It was interesting to watch how the demeanor of the firemen changed (subtle but noticeable even to the 19-year-old watching) when my husband arrived on the scene.
It’s a universal truth I think, men are just more comfortable talking to other men. No slight or denial of rights, it’s just nature.
Getting back to showing well deserved love to first responders, stop and think about these people. Think about the work they do. They cannot be wired like the rest of us, which is wonderful. They don’t think about themselves, or if they do, they can somehow push that aside. They risk their lives every single day. They run into disaster, toward the screams and the bleeding and flames and whatever else there is waiting. They shelter the injured with their own bodies if need be — now that’s dedication. First responders focus on you and no one else.
It’s one of the few professions where you can go off to work and never come home.
I can’t imagine what it is inside a person that gives that kind of bravery and selflessness, but I admire it tremendously. I wish there were more of us like this. I wish I could be more like this. I also can’t help but think that while the honors and luncheons are all well and good, I wish first responders were paid what they’re worth. Actually more than what they’re worth. Certainly more than what bureaucrats, Wall Street types and celebrities get.
We’re very fortunate, as a society, that people still choose to do this job. Something else drives first responders that’s not money or glory or fame… maybe it’s love.