Wednesday, November 23, 2011
In these difficult economic times when budget cuts are not an easy task and we are having discussions about salaries, what is most important and what isn’t, I thought I should share a thought about our first responders — those men and women who have dedicated their lives to saving ours.
Two weeks ago, in the middle of the night, I ran into my youngest daughter’s room and faced a fear no parent ever wants to. My child was gripped in a full-blown seizure. She was turning blue, and I thought she was completely lost to me. I have never in all my life been so unprepared and totally terrified. My oldest daughter called 911. Now, believe me when I tell you that the dispatcher had quite a challenge. Our ability to reason was gripped by sheer panic, and I can’t really even remember what I said or did. The dispatcher remained calm and somehow held us together between uncontrolled screams and sobs.
As I held my baby, helplessly watching what I thought were her last minutes, I desperately prayed for someone to come, please, what if they didn’t get here in time?
What seemed like a million years to me were only minutes. I heard the siren, the thunder of boots running up the stairs, the room filled with people who knew exactly what to do. This happened not once, but twice in three nights.
I’ve searched for words that can adequately convey my gratitude. There simply are none that seem worthy. How do you truly thank people who are there when you need them most? When life and death can be separated by seconds and minutes? No matter who you are or aren’t, what you believe or don’t, they will come. They lay it all down on the line every single day to be there when we need them.
What is that worth? We so often don’t know the value of that until the moment of need. They commit their entire lives to being prepared to serve and save; are we committed to honoring that? I ask our elected officials and governments to be vigilant in valuing these heroes among us, protecting and preserving the service, giving and doing for them all that can be done are generously and without fail being there for them as they are for us. We literally owe them nothing less. I cannot find any value in any argument otherwise. My child’s life was the one they raced to this time. Next time it may be yours. Every parent, every child, every loved one deserves that.
Our forever thanks to EMTs Michael Arce, Brian Shively, Marnie Smith, Paul Gilbertson, Chris Welch, Scott Hetrick, Devin Borvansky and Mike Middleton.