First responders are the local heroes in every community. When there is an emergency they are at the scene no matter the circumstances. Our past blog post 6 Facts That Will Make You Grateful For First Responders will help you realize how truly incredible these individuals are. Here are 5 ways you can make their jobs and lives a little easier.
1. Clear The Way
- If an ambulance, fire engine, or police vehicle has their emergency vehicle lights or siren on; safely pull over to the right side of the road.
- When you are driving through an intersection, yield to emergency vehicles with active sirens/emergency lights even if your light is green.
- Avoid filming or taking pictures of accidents where first responders are providing aid. Drivers often put first responder’s lives at risk by becoming distracted by the scene and losing focus on the road.
2. Use 911 Correctly
A problem that hinders the work of first responders is the misuse of the emergency dispatch number, 911. Emergency dispatchers often receive calls that are clearly not emergencies, such as complaints of blaring music or internet connection issues. Only call 911 if a person or property is in immediate danger. An example used by mentalfloss.com explains ” If you are at home and hear someone in your house, this is the time to call 911. If you come home and find someone broke into your home while you were away, then you should call the non-emergency line”. A good practice is to look up your local non-emergency lines and save them in your phone for future use.
3. Don’t Be The Problem
Be responsible and use caution routinely to avoid becoming a call for first responders to answer. Drive defensively while on the roads, practice appropriate fire safety, and obey the law. Of course, if you are in an actual emergency allow firefighters, law enforcement, and EMS to provide aide to you. However, avoid causing situations that take away their valuable time if not necessary.
4. Feed Them
If you have the available resources, visit your local departments and volunteer to feed the crew there. First Responders often have a difficult time getting fulfilling meals throughout their busy shifts, and providing them with a meal is a great way to express gratitude for their work.
5. Say Thanks
First responders are subject to long hard days, and they often deal with issues that are difficult for the average citizen to comprehend. The rates for depression, PTSD, and suicide among first responders are alarmingly high. Taking the opportunity to thank a police officer on the street, or writing a thank you letter to a fire department can go a long way. No first responder should ever have to wonder if they are appreciated or not.