What do first responders do to preserve our freedom?

Law Enforcement

There are an estimated 800,000 police officers in the United States. That “thin blue line,” as it has been called, is what stands between danger and safety, order and chaos. Too many Americans forget or take for granted that freedom without law, without some infrastructure of order, can quickly descend into turmoil and anarchy. Law enforcement personnel represent the rule of law. They protect and serve the law-abiding public from those who show contempt for society by breaking the law.

Law Enforcement Oath of Honor
On my honor,
I will never betray my badge,
my integrity, my character,
or the public trust.
I will always have the courage
to hold myself and others
accountable for our actions.
I will always uphold the Constitution,
my community, and the
agency I serve.

Firefighters

There are an estimated 1.13 million firefighters in the U.S., including 783,300 volunteer firefighters. There are some 30,100 fire departments in America. Firefighters are primarily responsible for fighting hazardous fires, but they also work as rescuers, saving people from disasters such as collapsed buildings and car accidents, and providing emergency medical services when needed. Firefighting is not a typical nine to five job. Most fire stations have their firefighters working 24 hour shifts, and some may even work 48 hour shifts. When they are on duty they live at the station so they can always be ready to respond to an emergency call.

Firefighter’s Prayer By Firefighter A. W. “Smokey” Linn
When I’m called to duty, God,
wherever flames may rage,
give me strength to save a life,
whatever be its age.
Help me to embrace a little child,
before it is too late,
or save an older person from,
the horror of that fate.
Enable me to be alert,
to hear the weakest shout,
and quickly and efficiently,
to put the fire out.
I want to fill my calling and,
to give the best in me,
to guard my neighbor and,
protect his property.
And if according to Your will,
I have to lose my life,
bless with Your protecting hand,
my children and my wife.

EMT’s

It is estimated that there are 891,000 emergency medical service (EMS) professionals in America, including 600,000 EMTs and 142,000 paramedics. They provide emergency medical treatment to persons that are injured or acutely ill, and transport about 16 million patients by ambulance annually. EMTs are among the first responders and work with both firefighters and police officers that are dispatched to car accidents, house/car fires, falls, stabbings, gunshot wounds, animal bites, births, etc. There are three different levels of EMTs that require specific training. EMT- Basic, EMT- Intermediate, and Paramedic. The Paramedic is the lead member of the team and is trained in advanced life support. Paramedics interpret tests such as EKGs, provide advanced respiratory treatments, and administer IV fluids and medications to provide additional emergency pre-hospital care.

A Paramedic’s Prayer
As I perform my duty, Lord,
Whatever be the call,
Help to guide and keep me safe,
From dangers big and small.
I want to serve and do my best
No matter what the scene,
I promise to keep my skills refined,
My judgment sharp and keen.
This calling to give of myself,
Most do not understand,
But I stand ready all the time
To help my fellow man.
A word of thanks I might not hear,
But knowing is enough,
That I have helped just even one
To go on to live and love.

Volunteers

The U.S. government estimates that 62.6 million Americans volunteer in a given year, donating 7.7 billion hours of their time annually. Volunteer organizations like the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army are instrumental in the recovery efforts following national disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In the U.S., the Red Cross responds to roughly 70,000 disasters every year, providing shelter, food, health, and mental health services to communities in need. We also have volunteer first responders, individuals who are trained extensively and work as volunteer firefighters or EMTs, all without pay.

VolunteerMatch is a website that helps individuals find and connect with local volunteer opportunities