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First On the Scene

What was your worst day? Did you have a car accident, did a loved one pass away, were you in a domestic violence situation? Did you call 911? When we say “First Responder” it is normally

used as a title but when you think about what it means to be the first on the scene of someone’s absolute worst day and responding to that person with tact, compassion and an immense amount of knowledge under extreme stress and pressure it is no wonder that as a community we have so many events surrounding these incredibly brave men and women who are fire fighters, paramedics, EMT’s and law enforcement officers.

October 1st the Bullhead City Fire Department held their annual Community Risk Reduction Safety Event and numerous organizations like the gas and electric company were there showing how to be aware of your surroundings to prevent accidents. The Bullhead City Elementary school district was there with different household chemicals showing how dangerous it can be to not have them in a safe place. The Bullhead City police were there fingerprinting children. 911 dispatchers were helping kids learn how to report an emergency over the phone.

Oct 6th was the National Night Out which was held at the Bullhead City Police Department and is an annual community-building campaign which was started in Philadelphia in 1970. It promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer,

more caring places to live. National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. It also provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.

“I am so excited to have this event at the Police Department this year. It is a wonderful time for people in the community to come have one on one conversations with the local police officers.” Lorrie Duggins

Oct 9th is the Annual Bridge to Bridge First Responders Appreciation Day. It is a time when all the first responders and their families gather at the Mohave Valley/Fort Mohave Community Park which is at 9200 Aquarius, Mohave Valley and our entire community from the Laughlin Bridge to the Needles Bridge come out to support them and thank them for their service to our communities. This event is FREE to the public. There will be a chili cook off, games, bouncy houses, music and much more.

I am a graduated EMT through Mohave Community College. One of the most valuable lessons that I took with me from going through that course was what Jeff Rose my instructor said.

“If you see a house that is on fire and someone is in it, and you want to want to go in and save them, but you don’t have the proper equipment on all you do in trying to save them is become another victim.” Jeff Rose

You must take care of yourself before you can save others.

The mental, emotional and physical drain on first responders is profound. They must learn how to do their jobs efficiently and effectively with compassion but at the same time not get personally invested in the outcome of the people that they are helping or arresting.

When I was 17 years old I went on a ride along and a man was on his roof and was going to change a light bulb on the pole next to the house. His wife was inside the house making him a sandwich for lunch. He tripped on something on the roof and his neck landed on the electrical wire and he died instantly by electrocution. When we arrived on scene she was in the yard just holding the plate with the turkey sandwich screaming.

That was my first time seeing a dead person. It was quite traumatic to be an observer of such an intense scene. However, for first responders their job is to run toward danger when everyone else is running away. It takes a unique person to be willing to experience life’s most brutal circumstances every time they go to work.

Imagine if you didn’t have someone to call on your worst day as you watch your house burn down, are suffering from a stroke or having a heart attack. I think that we can take it for granted that they are just a phone call away.

John, Barbie and Lorre of the BHC Fire Dept

Unfortunately bad things happen in life but those bad circumstances would have still happened if the first responders were there or not, but perhaps by them coming on scene that fire may have only destroyed one house and not a whole community or perhaps they were able to revive someone with CPR instead of them dying.

Perhaps one of these amazing first responders was there for your worst day, maybe you don’t remember their name, but I am sure you remember their compassion and dedication. Consider writing a letter, or making a card with your kids to give to them tomorrow at the Appreciation Day. Sometimes the smallest gesture of gratitude can make the biggest difference.

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