10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place (and Staying There) is a program to help us develop habits to grow a joyful spirit. Many of us sabotage our happiness by habits that we might not even be aware of. Identifying and changing these habits can build a reservoir of well-being to enhance our happy times and sustain us during challenging times.
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Have You Thanked a First Responder Today?
As I was driving home yesterday from my cabin, I passed four accidents on the highway. It was raining and foggy, a dangerous combination. Two of the accidents looked serious; in one of them a car had flipped completely over upside down. The other two were less serious; it appeared that one of them might have been caused when the car in front slowed down as several lanes merged into one at an accident site, and the car behind ran into it.
The police and fire trucks were already on the scene at two accidents, and were arriving at another one as I drove by. Ambulances were also there. The police were quick to address the traffic issues, standing in the pouring rain directing vehicles around the accidents and making room for emergency vehicles and personnel. The police were also guiding non injured victims in shock to safe areas. EMTs were attending to the injured.
Many of us are not happy to hear sirens or to see flashing lights in our rear view mirrors, especially if we are being stopped for a traffic violation. But as I passed these accidents and witnessed the expertise and dedication of all these heroes, I could imagine that those same flashing lights were lights from heaven and the sirens were the songs of angels to the injured and distressed.
So next time I see a police officer or a fire fighter, I’m going to make a point to walk up and say thank you. If I’m in my car, I’ll smile and wave. I can drop off some cookies at the fire station near my house, and leave a gift card for the police officers who frequent a local coffee shop.
If you are an emergency responder or if you know one, please accept or pass along my appreciation. Y’all are heroes every day. Thank you.
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Galen. I'm glad you put this in print.ReplyDelete
Every time I see a public responder in our grocery store I take a moment to say how much we all appreciate them...and I will tell you that the response...so far, has been...what?...followed by a sheepish grin and a quiet thank you.
I haven't personally had any experiences with them, but my very dear friend had them show up at her house when she was in difficulties and they were wonderful with her and her young kids. They've baked cookies for them ever since and the kids just love to give them at Christmas.
Like you, when I have approached someone to say thank you, they often seem surprised and pleased. A great practice!Delete
They truly are, Galen, and so glad you celebrate them here in your post. Their jobs are highly stressful and we don't thank them nearly enough.ReplyDelete
Love your idea of taking baked goods to them at Christmas. Think I'll take you up on this one! :)
Martha, I am sure the goodies would be appreciated.Delete
They are our heroes! I always make a big deal about them when I'm around children too, and it's sure a delight to see how you can bring a smile to those hard working caring souls, with just a smile or a thumbs up....my grandchild (as their parents before them) are already saying, I want to be a fireman, I want to be a policeman-cop of course they want to be Batman too, but he's a hero too right! Great post- you always have a way of bringing good to light!ReplyDelete
Karen, My daughter was afraid of anyone in a uniform when she was little (including Santa!). So I did just what you described. I always made it a point to explain how these people help us and I would introduce her when possible. One very kind police officer who was parked in our neighborhood let her peek in his car window at his computer. He was so friendly. It didn't take her long to welcome the opportunities to say hi to our heroes.Delete
What a lovely post! First responders are heroes, and I'm sure when we're in the position of needing them, they are like angels come to the rescue. Your ideas for thanking them are great ones.ReplyDelete
Tina, No kidding. When I needed to call 911 for my neighbor who was having a sudden health crisis, I could hear the sirens approaching even as I was still on the phone. They were there in no time and were so incredibly kind as they were being professional and expertly assessing her condition.Delete
Speaking as a second responder (the first responders drop them off with us), I fully endorse your message.ReplyDelete
Mikey, Having been in the care of second responders more than once, I can say from experience that y'all are heroes, too. Thank you.Delete
Galen, I have a strong sense of deja vu reading this post. Yes, I will thank the every day heroes. Hugs! Lovely post!ReplyDelete
Vidya, I passed another bad accident this morning and sent grateful thoughts to the first responders on the scene. (I hope Portland drivers drive more carefully today!)Delete
It's nice to focus on gratitude, and even nicer to actually thank those who serve us. I like your suggestion, and will follow it.ReplyDelete
Myrna, I'm sure your gratitude will be appreciated.Delete
Amen to your thoughtful post. I have a son that was a Deputy Sheriff and he would often describe various accidents that he attended too. I was a nurse by profession and we have come upon accidents many times. If the ambulances are there we don't stop. There is a tendency for Nurses not to stop because they can be sued according to the laws of different states.ReplyDelete
One day we came upon a bad accident and no one was there to help except for a truck driver and another person in a car. I quickly observed what was going. There was a few minor injuries and then a couple that had more serious injuries but not life threatening. I first went over to a woman who was laying on the ground and I knew immediately that she had died. She was not recoverable. I had worked in a ICU and Hospice training. The two men had tried to revive her. I then immediately went back to assess the other two who were injured. We assisted for a few minutes and then the ambulances came. We help a couple of children that were in the back of a van get out. They were OK.I learned from the family that the dead woman was their older aunt. She had gotten out of the car and walked to the road and then passed out. When the ambulances came the two men disappeared quickly. The main reason is that people have been sued by trying to help with out the knowledge or background to do so. I knew that these two men did know how to do CPR. We should all have a good first aide course and know how to do CPR; we could save a life. Of course, it is always best when there is a good EMT there. Sad, that people can get sued when they at least have stopped and try to give aid.
Blessings for your thoughts today.
LeAnn, Thank you for sharing this story. It's important to realize that good Samaritans risk a lot to help us. I really thank you for sharing this and for being a good Samaritan, too!Delete
The tendency is to crane our necks so that we can catch a glimpse of the accident, as we go by in our cars. You have given me a beautiful and inspiring reminder to thank the Samaritans on the road. Will certainly try to do that :-)ReplyDelete
Evelyn, It's human nature to take a look at the accident (and to be grateful we're not in it). We sometimes overlook the people who are helping.Delete
Such a beautiful image. We live next door to two paramedics. The ambulance is often parked outside their house. I am fascinated by what they do, it seems like such an exciting and important job compared to writing. I will make a point to thank them next time but I also want to follow through on an idea I had yesterday of doing a first aid course as a family. We can all save lives with a bit of basic first aid training. We'll probably never use it but how good would it be if we did and if our actions one day saved a life.
Annabel, What a great idea to do a first aid course as a family. I'm embarrassed to say my daughter is certified, and I'm not. I will do something about that!Delete
This seems to relevant today and I watch the news and see your Emergency Services being pressed into action to assist the victims of Sandy. So important to let them know what a difference they make!ReplyDelete
Corinne, So true! When I wrote the post, I was not thinking about the storm, but now I am. I'm sure many people are putting their own safety at risk to help others.Delete
Great tribute! these men and women put their life on the line everyday. And not enough acknowledgement if you ask me! Great post!ReplyDelete
Jodi, They are often taken for granted and overlooked until we need them! I was in the emergency room once and the most wonderful doctor helped me. I didn't even get his name. I thought later about how many people he helps who never come back to say thank you.Delete
In this storm, we can see how significant they are. They should be appreciated by all.ReplyDelete
JJ, So true. I was just reading some reports about Sandy. I know there are many people trying to help others in very difficult circumstances. We can all send them some appreciation today.Delete
What a thoughtful post. I actually get to thank two First Responders most days. My husband is an EMT and my son is a State Trooper. I am very thankful and understand the hard jobs first responders do every day.ReplyDelete
Bonnie, Two heroes in the family--wow! Please thank them both for me. They might enjoy the comments, too. I hope they feel appreciated!Delete
What a tribute and great idea. There are so many now helping with the devastation from Sandy all around. They work so many long hours. Sending prayers their way for more strength to get through it all in the coming days and weeks ahead.ReplyDelete
Lisa, I was just reading some updates about Sandy and the unimaginable devastation. Like after Katrina, it will take a long time to clean up and resume normal life. I'm sure prayers will be much appreciated.Delete
Great topic. After the recent storm, your post couldn't be more relevant. The first responders do risk their lives for all of us and deserve our appreciation. Great reminder to make sure they know we care.
Cathy, So true. We are lucky to live in the midst of so many heroes.Delete
Galen, Our youngest son and his wife are both paramedics. I want you to know that it is a very hard life. Not only are the hours killers but the on the job stress is enough to bring a person to their knees. Would they do anything else? I really don't think they will ever be far from that kind of dedication to public service. It is in their blood.ReplyDelete
I personally appreciated this post more than you can know.
Barbara, A life dedicated to saving others. They are both heroes, as you know. I can't imagine the stress and pressure of having such great responsibility in crisis situations. Please convey my thanks to them. And maybe they would like to see the thanks expressed in all the comments.Delete
Thank you for this post! Since I lived a long war, i have learned to really appreciate those people who put their lives in danger to save us: soldiers, medical teams and others. While we can hide in shelters, they were on the battle field.ReplyDelete
Nikky, I don't know enough about your background to know the context of your comment, but I have heard similar appreciation expressed for soldiers who fought to protect the lives and freedom of others. Thanks for sharing your personal experience.Delete