OUR OPINION: Thank a First Responder on Christmas and every other day

Published 8:00 am Friday, December 23, 2022

With the frigid weather and all the hazards it brings making its way through our community, it’s only appropriate that we take a moment to thank our first responders this Christmas.

They’re the people who don’t have the privilege of taking an “off day,” while the rest of us relax with our families.

Picture this: You’re sitting down with your family to open presents, rubbing the sleep from your eyes and inhaling the steam from a hot cup of coffee. Santa has arrived and the children are tearing through packages. Tissue paper, box lids and bows are flying everywhere.

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And somewhere, maybe on the kitchen counter or in the pocket of your pajama pants, an alarm sounds. And that sound means you must spring into action and go wherever you’re directed. Maybe you have time to apologize to your spouse; perhaps you give your children a kiss on the head as you head out the door.

Either way, someone’s in need and you are answering the call.

It’s a scenario first responders in our community and beyond face every day, and a sacrifice for which they’re not thanked nearly enough.

When the road is icy and your car lands in a ditch, our first responders are the ones who come to your aid. When your great-aunt has fallen and can’t get up, or when your father has breathing difficulties, we rely on our first responders to drop what they’re doing and save us.

Even when we’re speeding and a reminder to slow down (either in the form of a warning or a dreaded citation), it’s the first responders’ job to keep us from being a danger to ourselves and others. And if, God forbid, we wake to flames licking the walls on Christmas morning, it’s the first responder’s job to stop the blaze.

There is hardly a more noble calling than protecting the people of your community. The oath to “protect and serve” doesn’t make exceptions for holidays, rainy days, snow days or any other days in between.

So this Christmas, be sure and thank our first responders. If they don’t get a day off, our gratitude shouldn’t, either.