Distribution: Please distribute to all Law Enforcement, Paramedic and Fire personnel
First, I want to say thank you to everyone who has made it possible for me to distribute this message. I can not express my gratitude enough for your assistance.
Greetings to you as we head toward September 11th. The day we stop our normal routine to remember those who lost their lives in the attacks that horrible day. Among the 3000 people that lost their lives that day, we take special note of 343 firefighters and the 72 officers that laid their lives on the line for the safety of the people they served. Since then over 50 people have died from illness caused by working at “Ground Zero”.
As I write this, line of duty deaths are down (70 for Law Enforcement and 55 in the Fire Service), and we have a fighting chance to be under 100 for both groups. That also is good news.
Perhaps one of the most iconic scenes in TV is that of Sergeant Phil Esterhaus (played by Michael Conrad) on Hill Street Blues saying “Hey, let’s be careful out there.” So my note today will hopefully cause you to think what that means to you. I’ve been in numerous departments serving different types of communities. Urban, rural, paid, volunteer and departments that serve as both police officers and fire fighters. So “careful” will mean different things to you depending on a lot of factors. I am by no means an expert, or trained to be either, but I have received some tips and pointers along the way. Take and use any of these in any way you can.
– Wear seat belts.
– Have a first aid kit in your car. If they are not supplied by your department, take the money and time to build one.
– Wearing your protective gear (vests, fire suits, etc.)
– Drive at a safe and reasonable speed. Are the seconds worth the risk?
– Training is different for agencies depending on a variety of factors. Do you take advantage of the training available? Do you view materials like the “Below 100” campaign for LEO’s or the various fire safety articles for you firefighters out there?
– Always wear protective gloves when doing first aid and when dealing with blood.
– Review Line of Duty deaths and major incidents to see if there is something you can take away from the situation. What could YOU do differently to see a better outcome?
– Review the hazards in your local area. What could go wrong and are you ready?
– Never under estimate mother nature. Growing up in Kentucky and living in Ohio, I always thought a hurricane would never be something to worry about. That was until the “remnants” of Hurricane Ike took my power for four days.
– Contact other departments who have faced weather or situations that you have not. I’m sure they would be willing to share their lessons learned. Collaboration is our ally.
Those are just a few. There are numerous websites that give tips to any department on how to be “safe out there”.
In closing, I hope I could bring you some encouragement and some food for thought. Doc thinks of you often and appreciates you more than you know.
I’ve said it before and will say it until I take my last breath, you all are heroes. I don’t know how often you hear it, but I’m certain it’s not nearly enough. Thank you for all that you do.