America’s law enforcement officers and other first responders are our assets. The tremendous service they provide and the sacrifices they make are hard to explain in words. They put themselves in harm’s way, to save the lives of others. These brave men and women should be supported and celebrated.
As someone who was born and raised in a different continent, traveled to various countries, spent years studying comparative politics (as well as history and culture of many communities around the globe), I know that there are parts of the world where emergency services are unreliable, or even nonexistent. And where such services exist, lack of technology or training may make the resources inefficient. In such areas, people often feel that they are on their own, or they live with societal expectations that people will help people (with no access to organized emergency response). For example, a family living in a rural part of south Asia may call their neighbors in case of a medical emergency, rather than calling a number for trained paramedics to show up. In case of threats to one’s home or belongings, people can often be left to deal with the danger themselves, with no expectation of the arrival of armed law enforcement officers.
In the United States, in addition to being surrounded by caring and compassionate fellow citizens, we are very fortunate to have trained first responders across the nation. These brave and highly-skilled men and women, in villages, towns, and cities across America, provide excellent service to people in times of need. They do so, fearlessly.
The tragedy in Las Vegas shows how, in a time of extreme danger, people come together to rescue and help each other. The mass shooting also highlighted the heroism of first responders. On Sean Hannity’s show couple of days ago, he showed bodycamera footage of law enforcement officers at the scene of the mass shooting. An eyewitness of the Vegas shooting, Russell Bleck, said that he saw hundreds of people running towards danger. Speaking on Happening Now on Fox News, Bleck said that “he saw people with medical or military backgrounds rushing to administer aid, including plugging others’ bullet wounds with their fingers and using their bodies to shield people” (see links below for reference). Such men and women, and their acts of bravery, make America great.
My family and I have personally been on the receiving end of the services of first responders, several times, in situations involving suspicious person, property damage, life-threatening medical condition, etc. Almost always, the arrival of first responders brought significant relief, even before they had taken steps to address the situation. Simply knowing that I am in good hands can ease pain or reduce stress to a great extent. In everyday life, even in the absence of crisis, knowing that help (if needed) may be just a phone call away provides a tremendous sense of comfort. I have also had the great pleasure of meeting and getting to know many dedicated first responders in Wisconsin. They are wonderful people, with strong commitment to their work. How fortunate we are in this country!
In recent years, we have seen law enforcement being criticized, attacked, and even killed in ambush. It is extremely unfortunate when men and women in police are demonized. I believe that most of the people who are trying to become police officers do so out of a desire to serve their communities. These law enforcement personnel, through their acts of kindness and courage, inspire future generations of public servants. So do firefighters and paramedics, touching many lives every day. Their actions often make them look like superheroes to those who receive their assistance in dire circumstances. But first responders are human beings, and are part of our very own society. They are fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, friends – just like the rest of us. Every day, these men and women leave home, knowing that a day or night of uncertainty is what lies ahead of them. Every year, many first responders lose their lives during service.
As a nation, we should be grateful for such courageous men and women, serving in emergency response. They work hard so that we can feel safe. There are communities around the world that, I believe, would love to have what we have in America – advanced technology, skilled and dedicated responders, and a sophisticated system of providing timely assistance to those in need. We should thank first responders for their service, every day.