I know, don't fall over, 2 posts in one day.
I am writing this post as a follow up to Natalie's post from Tuesday regarding the horrific incident that took place in Columbus last week regarding the beating death of a four year old by his stepfather while his mother went into the other room and turned the music up so the three other kids in the house wouldn't hear what was going on. Natalie indicates you will be sickened at what you read, and she is absolutely right.
I am writing this to call your attention to a different perspective - that of a first responder. Yep, a first responder. Who is a first responder? Have you ever given much thought to that? I hadn't really, until December 31, 2005, when my cousin's husband lost his life in the line of duty as a lt. in the California Highway Patrol responding to the scene of a car that had skidded off the road. Who is a first responder? My dear friend Jodi as a parole officer is considered a first responder - who is Jodi? She is Dolan's mother, James' wife, Stan and Mary Lou's daughter, Brad and Kenny's sister, our beloved teammate. All of these people have something in common - daily, they risk their lives to help people. They are the people that see first hand the AWFUL things we see on the news and read in the paper/on the internet.
My good friend who is a fire fighter/medic had the misfortune to be a first responder on the scene for this incident last week. What started out as a "non responsive, CPR being performed" run turned into the run from hell for them - half way there, dispatch informed them it was a 4 year old that CPR was being performed on. It was quite apparent to them that something was not right upon coming on to the scene - despite the anger and disgust they felt toward the individual that had committed this horrific crime, they were able to remove him from the scene and focus their efforts on trying to save the little guy. David actually drove the medic to the hospital...85 mph from the east side of Columbus to Children's downtown. As a result of this incident, they were out of service for nearly 3 hrs (ie, unavailable to help anyone else) while they were interviewed and waited around the hospital to see how the little guy fared - the outcome as we all know here in Columbus was terribly tragic.
Your first responders - the people you call when you need help - they are someone's husband/wife, father/mother, brother/sister, best friend. They risk their safety to keep us safe. When traveling down the road and you see lights and hear sirens...do you pull over and let them pass? Someone's loved one is in there...on the way to hospital the other night, with a 4 year old child dying in the back of the medic, people were racing it, following it and not pulling out of the way. This could be your loved one back there.
Next time you see a police officer, fire fighter, medic, etc, stop and take a moment and appreciate them - they will be the ones that come to your aid if, god forbid, you ever need it. Move out of the way when you see lights and hear sirens. When levy's come up for safety, that impacts the funding of your local police or fire department, consider voting for them...having proper man power and proper equipment is of paramount importance - much of the equipment here in Columbus is so old that it often has to be taken out of service for repair and any calls to their response area while they are out of service have to be answered by another unit - minutes and seconds are precious in a life and death situation. (Um, sorry your house burned down, but the closest engine available was 20 minutes away)
The awful human beings involved in the above situation are currently in jail with no bond...thank god someone got that right. Natalie's blog addresses what appears to have gone wrong from a Children's Services/family court perspective. Sadly, this little boy had been removed from the care of his mother and step father at some point and had been returned just two weeks prior to this incident. Overwhelming to try and grasp.
So tonight...hug your kids, appreciate your first responders and move out of the way when you see lights and hear sirens.