Diane Mitsch Bush: Thank you first responders | SteamboatToday.com

Diane Mitsch Bush: Thank you first responders

From the historic amount of damage caused by Hurricane Harvey and the anticipated destruction from Hurricane Irma, to multiple wildfires igniting across Oregon, Montana, California and here in Routt County and other parts of Colorado, many regions of our nation are feeling the anxiety of either preparing for, enduring, or cleaning up in the wake of unprecedented natural disasters.

Though Routt County's plight differs from the coasts of Texas or Florida or the multiple states working to contain wildfires, there is a commonality that transcends the type of natural disaster affecting an area. Across the nation, as a collective whole, we owe everything to those on the frontlines who risk their lives to protect our safety: our brave first responders.

In addition to the Routt County fire crews, first responders from across Colorado and southern Wyoming have been aiding in containing both the Deep Creek and Big Red Fire — working tirelessly both day and night to protect the homes of their neighbors and strangers alike, and to limit damage to the Routt National Forest.  The National Interagency Coordination Center has also aided in containment efforts.

On Sept. 11, 2001, first responders were called in to help with a kind of crisis that is very different than a natural disaster. Countless lives were saved because of the courageous actions made without hesitation by our nation's firefighters, police officers and emergency medical technicians.

While rushing to the aid of so many in a time of devastation, several hundred first responders also lost their lives on this day 16 years ago.

Every day across the U.S., first responders are answering the call to put themselves in harm's way to look out for the rest of us. To our first responders, thank you for all you do. Your hard work and selflessness are the saving grace for us in our time of need.

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If you know a first responder, give them a hug — thank them for putting their lives on the line to keep our communities safe.

Diane Mitsch Bush

State Representative of House District 26

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