Thank you to our first responders

Dear Editor:

With a whisper of spring in the air, and tiny bits of green beginning to show, most of us are feeling a tremendous sense of relief.

At the end of a long winter — full of snow and a polar vortex or two — I want to take a moment to thank our first responders; men and women who put it all on the line day-to-day as part of their job.

How many times this winter did a police officer, highway patrol, EMT or paramedic slip down a hill to help someone at an accident site or in the ditch? Dealing with frostbit fingers and toes while detouring traffic around an accident, or driving in zero visibility because someone needed help?

How many times did a fireman slip around on ice while battling a fire because of water freezing on the ground from the water hoses or shiver from the water spraying on them in the cold? How many sprained ankles, broken fingers, frostbites and hurt backs occurred as our first responders went out in the cold and ice to help someone facing a crisis, while the rest of us stayed warm at home?

I’ve heard the saying, “It’s a thankless job” but I don’t want that to be true. We are so blessed to have these dedicated professionals ready and willing to help when life is oftentimes at its worst.

If you are a first responder — both paid and volunteer — please know you are appreciated. What you do makes a difference. Whether day or night — winter or summer – if I had a need or was in trouble I wouldn’t even hesitate to dial 911 knowing and expecting help to be on its way.

Thank you for your dedication and hard work. Thanks for seeing the worst of life but still seeing the best in people. Thank you and God bless you.

Vonda Oakes