Not everyone gets to celebrate at home with their families today. With that in mind, today’s post is a tribute to the first responders who have to work. Because heart attacks don’t take a holiday. Neither do fires. Nor mental health emergencies. Nor crime. “Let’s be careful out there” was an iconic line from the 1980s show Hill Street Blues, but it applies in all decades.
In the past I’ve written about ways to thank first responders, and I hope I’ve expressed my thanks and respect through other blog posts as well. But it’s time to do it again. So to all first responders I’d just like to say, Merry Christmas, and be careful out there!
It’s a too-frequently-forgotten crucible of chaos that’s often a center of frantic activity on holidays: the place where the calls come in. 9-1-1 dispatchers have a high-stress front row seat on the worst day in the life of practically everyone in town.
That goes double for busy winter holidays. Roads are often wet or icy. People are distracted, inebriated, or both. Stuff happens. And 9-1-1 dispatchers are expected to remain rock-steady through it all. No, they’re not out in the weather, but never imagine they’re not in the fight. And never imagine their job is easy.
I hope they’ll accept my heartfelt thanks, for what they’re worth!
Emergency Medical Service and Firefighters
EMS is part of the local Fire Department in much of the United States, but not always or everywhere. However they’re organized, when Dispatch calls they go. No matter what’s on the ground. Shouldn’t matter which neighborhood (although, sadly, sometimes it may). And it doesn’t matter how gory or horrible the things they see when they arrive might be.
Winter is a difficult time to fight fires. Added to the usual dangers, cold weather can cause falls from slips on ice, frostbite, and related hazards. Add all of this to the strain of being away from one’s family, and you can see that holiday duty comes with added stress.
Many thanks to all of you! Merry Christmas, and be careful out there!
Many of the people who come into contact with police officers during the holidays are not happy to see them. Drunk drivers, domestic disturbances in stressed-out households, thieves from porch pirates to armed robbers, and many other criminals take no holidays. In fact, Christmas is “the most dangerous time of the year.“
This makes police officers’ Thanksgivings thankless, their Christmases critical, and their New Years nasty. Whatever holidays they celebrate, they know they’ll receive more curses than holiday greetings on those days.
I know one blog post can’t make up for all the abuse, but this blogger thanks you! Merry Christmas, and be careful out there!
IMAGE CREDITS: Many thanks to the Ada County (ID) Sheriff’s Glassdoor listing, for this uncredited photo of their dispatch center. I’m grateful to The Rochester (MN) Post Bulletin and Gold Cross Ambulance (now called Mayo Clinic Ambulance). I also thank WJHG Channel 7, of Panama City Beach (FL), for their photo and story about first responders working on the holidays. I’m very grateful to Ephraim 325 on Reddit, via Pinterest. I’m grateful to the Sidney, Ohio City Government’s Facebook Page for the first “Officer Santa” picture, and to the Police Benevolent Foundation, via the “Sh*t My Callers Say” Tumbler, written by an emergency response dispatcher. The Featured Image is thanks to Mike Morr on Twitter, via Pinterest.