First Responders Day
Most of us do not have super powers. We are neither famous nor do we hold national office. Instead, we go through our days simply enjoying friends, family, good health. And, once in a while, we call on a particular group who sort of do own super powers — police officers and firefighters.
These everyday people are there for us 24/7 in our darkest hours and moments of greatest fear. And it is then we comprehend their special super powers – the ability to calm, to save, and to revitalize us and our communities without ever questioning their purpose or capabilities.
Say thank you to police officers and firefighters.
In light of these selfless public servants, we ask you to show your appreciation this month by celebrating “First Responders Day,” October 28. Increasingly recognized by Massachusetts residents as a means of showing support and admiration for these brave men and women, the movement is gaining momentum in Washington, D.C., where top United States senators pitched legislation in 2020 designating it a federal holiday.
Although the proposal has yet to pass Congress, First Responders Day unofficially honors the nation’s millions of career and volunteer firefighters, law enforcement officers, emergency medical technicians and dispatch personnel who put their lives on the line for our health and safety.
This signature day showcases the very core of a first responder’s job – to run towards danger without thought for self — a noble duty of sacrifice only those born with a special courage and unyielding grit are willing to take on as a lifetime pursuit.
How did First Responders Day start?
The tragic events on Sept. 11, 2001, crystalized Americans’ minds to the purpose, duty, and valor of their municipal police and firefighters. As we watched these highly trained professionals run into the collapsing World Trade Center towers, and experienced the subsequent surreal days of following them as they dug through rubble searching for survivors, our admiration for their selflessness grew tenfold. For the first time in decades we witnessed just how dangerous and traumatic a world they called their own. In all, 446 firefighters, paramedics and police officers died while attempting to save others on 9/11, the single greatest loss of first responder lives in history. We were, without fail, now acutely aware of both the physical and mental risks to working as a police officer or firefighter.
As the years passed, we also came to understand more fully the long-lasting scars inflicted upon those in these professions by exposure to harsh chemicals, harrowing events, and deadly encounters: a comprehension which only served to fuel our admiration as a country and build consensus for a day dedicated to these heroes.
How can I thank police officers or firefighters on Oct. 28?
Just be present! Jump on social media and tag your favorite department. Stop an officer and express your gratitude for their duty. Coordinate a thank you card campaign. Make a donation to a favorite police or firefighter organization. Check with your local municipality for events to attend. Most importantly, model respect by publicly declaring your admiration for these brave individuals.
How much do you know about our police officer and firefighter program?
According to the 2018 Census data, Massachusetts employs approximately:
16,293 police officers
12,619 fire protection personnel
§ 32 years of age or younger — unless you hold prior military experience
§ 19 to take the civil service exam for individuals with military experience
§ 21 to take the civil service exam for all others
So, if you want to become a police officer in Massachusetts, get moving before you’re too old! As for the rest of us, we’ll just keep thanking them for doing what they do so well — serve and protect, help and aid, sacrifice and support all of us, every day.
The Hundred Club — Serving the Community
At The Hundred Club of Mass., we care for those who care for us. When these everyday people-turned-heroes lose their lives in the line of duty, we are here for their families. We have helped beneficiary families since 1959. Our assistance encompasses college scholarships, financial and legal support, counseling, and enrichment programs. Help us help those who dedicate their lives to serving and protecting our communities. When a police officer or firefighter dies, in many cases, their paycheck and insurance stop before their death benefits begin, which is where the Hundred Club steps in to help. Your generosity provides immediate support to the families of these everyday heroes — funds they can rely upon to pay rent, groceries, and other bills. Help us continue the tradition of caring for those who care for us. Donate to the Survivor Benefits Fund: