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.