Sunday, February 28, 2016

Thankful Sunday--February 28, 2016

I am thankful for our emergency workers.

Friday, I went to a graduation ceremony of a young woman who is studying to become a volunteer EMT. (Did you know that 70% of the emergency workers in the US are volunteers?) She had just completed her first segment--fire fighting. Although there were a variety of ages, most of the class were in their teens. During their training, they went to to EMT class for 5 hours a week, volunteered at the fire station for at least 12 hours a week, and kept up with their studies and part time jobs. An impressive, dedicated group.

But dedication is what is needed in this dangerous job.  During the first segment of training, the teachers impressed upon the students, that EMT work is a hard, perilous responsibility. But even with this warning, they all stayed the course.

Also, the leaders stressed that family, whether it was at home or on the job, was very important. They called the candidates "your loved ones" acknowledging that an emergency worker has to have the support of those at home to go out and do this job. In addition, one speaker gave an example of a young man who became badly burned while he was rescuing someone from a burning house. The young EMT was in the hospital for six weeks and there was another person from his firefighter family by his side 24 hours a day. There also was food prepared for his family every day.  This was one of several stories that were shared with us.

So during the graduation, I heard stories from new trainees, experienced veterans, men, women, and people of all shapes and colors. I heard bagpipes play, fire bells ring, and saluted the flag. But most of all during this ceremony, I remembered how thankful I am that there are people out there who are willing to risk their life for me.


5 comments:

  1. So true! My niece's husband is a firefighter (his job, not a volunteer duty, although he did that when he was younger). I usually think of the obvious dangers (fire ... ) but he has had to deal with aggressive behaviors, too. Thank you for reminding us to be grateful for their willingness to put themselves in danger to help others.

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    1. I think just about everyone realizes that emergency personnel jobs are hard and dangerous. And they are thankful for them. But sometimes, we take them for granted and just say the words. This was a good reminder of the actual sacrifices they make and how truly thankful I am.

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  2. We're lucky to have them all, ready and willing. For awhile last year, the fire department in this town and the volunteers in the small town a few miles south, was very worried about their young volunteers because there were a series of gruesome fatal wrecks on highway 34, which is a deadly road between Albany and Corvallis. They worried their volunteers would get PTSD from all the gore of the fatal wrecks and were urging people to drive sanely. It's a terribly important yet difficult job.

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    1. I wonder how many of these workers suffer PTSD?

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  3. My son's best friend is a volunteer fire fighter. It's such a dangerous job but those men and women are so dedicated and I'm thankful for that too. When we lost our home the spring of 2001 to an electrical fire it was a volunteer fire department that came to assist. Even after putting the fire out they helped us. One of the things they gave me was a special additive to put in the wash to get the smoke smell out of clothes we saved. I looked and found this stuff is very pricey yet they asked for no money and told me to come back if I needed more.

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What do you think?