To the editor:
Last month, I was involved in two accidents that required first responders to be called to the scene. The first accident took place minutes after I began a drive from northwest Montana to my hometown, Edina, when I was rear-ended at an intersection. While both my and the other driver’s cars were badly damaged, we both emerged unscathed. I called 9-1-1 so that we could file a police report and have debris removed from the road. The EMTs and policemen arrived quickly and got to work, taking statements from us after ensuring that we were both unharmed. Their presence was soothing amidst the stress of the collision and the ensuing uncertainty regarding whether I would be able to continue the drive. Their input helped me decide that it was safe to continue my trip home.
Three days later, my grandmother had a bad fall as we were walking together outside of her care home in Deephaven. While responsive to her name, she was bleeding badly from her face and forehead. A bystander called 9-1-1 shortly after witnessing her fall. Before the first responders arrived, I was at a loss of what to do. My recollection of the first aid instruction I received two years ago in college was foggy and I relied on a FaceTime call with my father, a retired emergency medicine physician, to take care of her before the EMTs arrived roughly ten minutes later. I was greatly relieved when they arrived, knowing my grandma was now in much better hands. After checking for damage to her spinal cord, they moved her into a gurney and transported her to the hospital. While she suffered severe lacerations and several small brain bleeds, she will recover.
I feel a tremendous sense of gratitude for the first responders who calmly handled these emergencies. These men’s and women’s skills, friendliness, and cool-headedness under pressure could likely earn them higher wages and more forgiving schedules in other jobs, yet they selflessly opt to serve their communities nonetheless, a sacrifice I greatly admire.