Thank you, first responders

Thank You First Responders AgriNews

We owe a great deal to those who provide emergency care, protection and support to our community.

Their bravery is astonishing. They are always ready to dive headfirst into danger without batting an eye — police officers holding the line between chaos and order, firefighters wrestling with angry flames and EMTs breathing life back into fading hearts.

Following tributes to teachers and veterans, this edition of AgriNews offers our appreciation to first responders, thanking those who answer the call.

Rescue personnel are summoned to farms and ranches relatively infrequently. However, when they are called, it often includes complex situations involving heavy equipment or other challenges unique to the agricultural environment.

Farm machinery, chemicals, unpredictable animal behavior and complex farm structures can hamper safe and effective farm rescue.

At one time, the first responders to agricultural accidents were often firefighters and medical personnel who were farmers themselves and therefore familiar with the environment to which they were responding. That is no longer always the case — the reason AgriNews is highlighting many of these volunteers today.

This special edition, sponsored by Beck’s, is meant to acknowledge the issues that first responders face and spotlight some of the organizations and people who are providing support in various ways.

Police officers, firefighters and paramedics put themselves on the front lines of dangerous and traumatic events at a critical cost to their well-being — increased levels of occupational stress that can lead to depression, burnout, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicidal ideation.

Policemen and firefighters are more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty, a troubling trend that researchers say has not improved despite national suicide rates decreasing.

And these are likely people you know. Rural fire trucks and ambulances have long been staffed by neighbors and friendly, familiar faces in the community.

This is a reminder that every single day, brave men and women put their lives on the line to protect ours. They are the real heroes who deserve our deepest respect and admiration.

We hope to inspire everyone to say “thank you” to those who selflessly serve us all.

AgriNews Staff

AgriNews Staff

The Illinois AgriNews and Indiana AgriNews staff is in the field each week, covering topics that affect local farm families and their businesses. We give readers information they can’t get elsewhere to help them make better farming decisions.