Friday, September 1, 2017

Harvey- A Reminder

BLOGGER'S NOTE - today we take a break from our normal focus to say a few words in light of the natural disaster tragedy continuing to unfold in Houston, Texas and surrounding areas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. We hope you’ll take a minute to read and react.


The only word we can use to describe the devastation of Hurricane Harvey to Southeast Texas is horrific. This historic storm which deluged the Houston metro area with nearly six feet of water this past week continues to wreak havoc not only in Texas but now into Louisiana and even Alabama.

Harvey- A Reminder

Harvey- A Reminder

Harvey- A Reminder

Harvey- A Reminder

A Reminder

As bleak as the images are and the stories of lives ripped apart are across all of our television and monitor screens, we also saw images of hope as first-responders; police, fire, EMS, military and in many cases neighbors helping neighbors stepped-up to save the day. Thousands of individual rescues have taken place and the heroes in the midst of the storm’s ground-zero have acted without regard to their own plight, risking their very lives in service to their fellow man.

It’s a reminder how great an institution those of us who are connected in any way to EMS in the United States have the privilege to be part of. In our home state of Pennsylvania, the Department of Health through the mouthpiece of the Regional Emergency Health Service Councils actually issued a statement asking EMS organizations to cease from “self-deploying” because so many of us instinctively felt the need to act.

Wired to Help

If you’re part of the EMS family you are wired to help.

It’s what we do. It’s in our blood.

We are programmed to drop everything when the pager activates or our cell phones ring with little regard to our own comfort and well-being sometimes. We just have to do something.

We’re reminded that many of the first-responders currently on the ground in Texas have their own personal tragedies put on hold. Obviously, EMS personnel on the ground evacuating, treating, responding to incidents in Houston and surrounding areas not only work but also live in those areas. Many of those brave souls will complete their mission to return to the loss of their possessions, separation from loved ones and in some cases we fear return to lost loved ones. Imagine the stress endured by these individuals in the heat of the moment only to then have no place to rest or decompress as they turn their attentions to their own personal losses and tragic events.

We can only shudder to think of the plight of these individuals and yet…they trudge on because there is yet another life to save.

What Can You Do?

While many of us may not be able to directly intervene, some of you may be called upon to fill the gap by responding into the area when called upon as part of a national effort to infuse extra resources.

Our hats are off to those of you who may be part of that effort.

For the rest of us, there are a number of things we can do.

First and foremost we can pray. Prayer and directed positive thoughts even directly reaching out to those in the affected area with positive words of encouragement mean everything to those first-responders. It’s a relief to know that the brotherhood and sisterhood of this thing that we do is alive and well. It’s uplifting mentally and emotionally to support each other.

Secondly, we can give. Seek out reputable organizations and consider giving a cash donation to support the relief effort. If there are groups in your area seeking donations of supplies, please step-up and give today. Below we are sharing just a few links to organizations where you can give online. Every dollar is important.

Finally, we can be prepared. No one of us can predict when or where the next disastrous event will hit. That’s why we drill and train and even though sometimes it feels like overkill, it’s not. Because, when tragedy strikes close to your home- and we hope it never does- you’ll be ready just like those brave brothers and sisters are in Texas.

There’s plenty we can do. Now let’s do it!

God bless Houston. God bless Texas. God bless the United States of America!

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