Editor’s Note August ’17: In honor of first responders

They are a special breed. They have tremendous heart when it comes to helping and caring for others at times of critical need. They give little thought or concern to the tough circumstances they are called to or the danger they might place themselves in.

They are first responders and we are blessed by their willingness to rush to provide help. They work around the clock, in cold and hot temperatures (and everything in between). Some are compensated for their service while others are volunteers. Their “payment” comes in knowing that they have helped their neighbor and their community.

What an honor it is with this edition to celebrate the men and women who are first responders in the 501 – law enforcement, firefighting and emergency medical services – and thank them for their service.

In the pages that follow, we share information about a handful of first responders who represent so many more throughout Central Arkansas. While their backgrounds are different, they share a common bond – a genuine interest in helping those who in some instances are experiencing their worst day possible.

Like many others who grew up in the 1970s, my introduction to the first responder profession came on Saturday nights with the television show “Emergency!” My parents, sisters and I would gather around the TV set and watch the Station 51 crew as they bantered with one another until they were called to an emergency. (Unfortunately, there aren’t many TV shows on today where you can still do that.)

Early on in my journalism career, I had an opportunity to see first responders in action – from automobile accidents and natural disasters to major structure fires and other types of emergencies. Today, I’ve moved on from my job chasing fire trucks and police cars but my admiration and appreciation for the time and hard work turned in by first responders remains strong.

If you are a first responder, thank you. If you aren’t, you are blessed that we have them.

Until next month, here’s to “Loving LIFE” in the 501. 

Sonja J. Keith