3 Ways to Support Fellow First Responders
Date:Monday May 1, 2023
The month of May is home to a number of important remembrances and holidays to observe in honor of first responders – Police Week, Nurses week, National EMS Week, May is National Military Appreciation Month, and of course, the month closes out with Memorial Day. These are great reminders to show support for these and all fellow first responders, who share similar goals of public safety and care for their fellow citizens. Here are some simple ways to acknowledge other professional’s contributions and recognize the ways in which first responders support and protect our communities:
1. Remember the Fallen
Make an effort to stay informed about any line of duty or other significant losses in your area. Consider organizing a vigil to honor fallen heroes, or contributing to memorials in your local community. Being the kind of colleague who helps create and attend such events shows support and a recognition of the sacrifices that first responders make.
2. Share Stories of First Responder’s Commitment and Honor
Whether on your own personal social media page or through your workplace communication channels, like newsletters, see if you can share some stories from places like the Officer Down Memorial Page or from local heroes who have lost their lives in the line of duty. Even asking an individual officer if they are willing to talk about their colleague can be a great way to honor them through your listening and acknowledgement of their lives and impact.
3. Advocate For Strong Mental Health Resources for First Responders
Many first responders still struggle to get the kind of mental health support they need to cope with their challenging careers. Also, there is still sometimes a stigma about seeking and receiving mental health support that should be challenged. By being a voice for strong mental health resources for first responders in particular, you can be a good advocate but also a great colleague and friend.
Regardless of whether you extend a supportive hand to fellow agencies or individuals, on a personal or public level, try to make time to find common ground and connect with others who are doing the hard work alongside you. Your effort may mean a lot to those who are having a difficult time.