Why We Celebrate National First Responders Day: A Look at the Risks They Take for Us

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Oct. 28 marks National First Responders Day. With so many challenges facing our families, communities, and nation, it could be easy to brush aside the significance of taking time to honor those who work tirelessly to keep us safe. However, it is more crucial than ever to take a moment to thank and honor these brave men and women. First responders have always faced extreme risks in the line of duty, but in recent years, they have become more overworked and underappreciated. Let’s take a day to change at least part of that.

The aftermath of the “Defund the Police” movement has left police departments with fewer officers and less support and citizens with more crime. For proof of this, look no further than our nation’s capital. According to Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department, the number of officers stands at its lowest point since 1967, with staffing trending sharply downwards since 2020. Along with that, violent crime in the city has risen by 40% in the last year.

Police officers in Washington are now doing more dangerous work with less support.

The City Council created this crisis. In the summer of 2020, it slashed $15 million from the police department in the name of “grappling with the undoing of centuries of layered systemic racism and permutations throughout our society.” The council seemed to prioritize leftist rhetoric over supporting its officers. Despite similar situations in cities across the country, officers continue to work tirelessly to protect our communities.

Attacks on first responders are not exclusive to police officers or limited to misguided liberal policies. All categories of first responders are subjected to very real attacks. Earlier this year, for example, Seattle firefighters were attacked at least 50 times over a six-month period —from being obstructed while attempting to do their jobs to physical assaults.

In July, a New York emergency medical technician was stabbed while responding to a call.

And recent reporting shows that Border Patrol agents, who are the first line of defense in keeping communities safe and providing emergency aid on the southern border, are being targeted by a bounty program.

During the tragic shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville in March where a former student who identified as a transgender man killed three children and three adults, police responded quickly, putting themselves at risk to save countless lives. Without a second thought, officers reacted to face and neutralize evil.

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When Hurricane Idalia hit Florida, first responders from around the country travelled to respond and assist in disaster response. Once again, they stepped up to face danger and save lives.

Countless stories exist across America of first responders working in our communities to serve as a bedrock of civil society and to respond to any crisis that may arise.

Much of our culture remains unaware of—or worse, dismisses—the remarkable work they do. We ought to use National First Responders Day as a time to change that.

Despite the efforts we have witnessed to hamper, defund, and even end the involvement of first responders in our communities, Americans are seeing the dire consequences of a society without these heroes.

Our communities’ first responders face constant threats, but they continue to have our backs. On National First Responders Day, let’s have theirs. On Oct. 28—and every day after that—let’s make an effort to show our appreciation, and let’s work to create a society that supports and empowers the courageous work they do.

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The post Why We Celebrate National First Responders Day: A Look at the Risks They Take for Us appeared first on The Daily Signal.

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