EDITORIAL: Recognizing those who rush toward emergencies

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First responders honored in September

As America marked the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on Sunday, many of us clearly recalled memories from the terrible September day. We remembered the moments when we first heard that terrorists attacked our nation, and our sense of security came crumbling down.

But we also remembered inspiring courage. While we watched helplessly from afar on Sept. 11, 2001, thousands of first responders rushed to help.

That’s what they always do — whether in New York, Washington or Wyoming. They’re the ones who rush toward emergencies and tragedies, no matter the scale.

We appreciate first responders every day, but we often take their service for granted.

It’s important to stop and recognize their dedication and the sacrifices they make.

The Powell community will do just that on Tuesday, Sept. 27. First responders will be honored during a special program from 5-7 p.m. at the Powell Volunteer Fire Department. The local event coincides with National First Responder Appreciation Day.

First responders come in many forms — dispatchers, EMTs, police officers, firemen, sheriff’s deputies, highway patrolmen and search-and-rescue crews. They continually put their own lives at risk to help others.

Oftentimes, the call comes in the middle of the night. Other times, it comes on a holiday or during a family dinner. First responders must miss special moments in their loved ones’ lives, such as birthday parties, anniversaries, kids’ athletic events and other family celebrations.

Serving in a small town can make the job even more difficult for first responders. In many cases, they know the victims personally — as friends, neighbors or even family members.

Our community was forever changed 20 years ago when a fireman responded to a crash to find his son was one of the passengers. Both were fatally electrocuted. A statue outside the Powell Volunteer Fire Department is dedicated in their memory.

As the community gathers at the fire hall in coming weeks to honor first responders, we encourage you to take part in recognizing them for their dedication and service.

From the dispatcher who takes the first call to the last officer who leaves the scene, they ensure help is there when it’s needed most.

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