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Friday, May 20, 2022
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HomeOpinionEditorialAS WE SEE IT: Thanks to the first responders, and all the...

AS WE SEE IT: Thanks to the first responders, and all the helpers

This weekend Grayson’s first responders dealt with one of the most difficult things the men and women in these positions can face – the loss of a life.

It’s something the folks who take on these roles always prepare for, even as they hope they won’t have to deal with it. But despite the obvious psychological toll of losing someone they hoped to save, these individuals continue to answer the call, putting themselves in danger’s way to help others escape it.

Saying thank you to our firefighters, police officers, and EMTs is nothing new. We do it fairly regularly. That doesn’t mean we should stop doing it, though, both regularly and sincerely.

While the Grayson department was dealing with their apartment fire on Saturday, the Olive Hill department was also on scene, offering their assistance. This was after answering three other calls that morning, according to Olive Hill chief Jeremy Rodgers.

Both crews were out again over the weekend, and on Monday, offering assistance to stranded motorists and others in need of aid during our recent winter storms.

It’s one of the things Grayson chief Greg Felty and Rodgers have both discussed in the past – when others are encouraged to stay in, and avoid driving on the treacherous county roads, their staff are asked to brave those same conditions to help keep others safe.
They do it, and they do it selflessly – most of our firefighters are volunteers, and even paid staff often aren’t full-time.

And while our police and EMT staff are all full-time paid professionals, it doesn’t make their jobs any less difficult, emotionally taxing, or important to the community they serve.

When they are needed, they show up, and they do it because they care about the communities they call home.

But while we are giving special thanks to our first responders, let’s not forget the other members of the community who step up in difficult situations to help us out.

Timmy Herron, who perished in Saturday’s fire, worked for the Grayson street department. Those individuals are the often unthanked, and unseen, heroes responsible for clearing your city streets following snowstorms so that you can make it to work, or so rescue workers can make their way to you.

They’re also responsible for cleaning our streets, watering flower displays, and generally helping make our cities more beautiful and inviting places.

Outside the city, county and state road crews are doing much the same work on the roadways they are responsible for. They’re not only opening routes for first responders, but they’re also helping us get back to work, and our children get back to school, so life can continue as normal – at least until the next snowstorm.

They prepare for it. They’re equipped to deal with it. But that doesn’t negate the dangerous conditions they work in – conditions when the rest of us are advised to stay inside. For braving those conditions, so that the rest of us can get out – or to rescue us when we can’t – we want to say thank you to all of those folks.
These are difficult and often thankless jobs. Our road crews are as likely to hear criticism that a road hasn’t been plowed yet as they are to hear thanks that it has. Our EMTs get called out to revive folks who sometimes don’t appreciate the effort they’ve gone through. And our firefighters get called out for issues that have nothing to do with fighting fires, or providing rescue services. But the jobs they do are valuable, and appreciated, and we want to express that.
To the firefighter, the EMT, the snow truck driver, and the police officer helping push stranded motorists to the shoulder; we know your jobs aren’t easy. But you do them anyway. And for that, we are grateful.     

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