Corner Column

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Elsewhere in this week’s edition of the Monitor you will find photos of some of the folks who work tirelessly, often behind the scenes, to react when disaster strikes, and to prepare for all contingencies when things don’t go according to plan.

They are grouped together under the term “First Responders,” and they stand at the ready 24/7 in case you need them, and then hope that you don’t.

We reached out to as many groups as we could think of, and what you see today is but a sampling of the dedicated men and women who stand at the ready, and never know from one minute to the next what their day might bring. They much prefer that it will be boring, but often it is anything but that.

Our community is well-served by those who volunteer as well as paid professionals.

Some of those groups include police officers, sheriff’s deputies, court bailiffs, state highway patrol, game wardens, constables, firemen (including paid and many volunteers), the dispatchers who handle the calls for all the folks included here, emergency medical crews (on the ground and in the air), county fire marshal/emergency management coordinator, canine officers and many others. And if you’ve ever had the misfortune to be in an ER, you know there is another group of medical folks at the ready.

First responders rarely sit still, whether its continuing education and training, updating and maintaining equipment, and lots of PR and outreach.

We are proud to salute them now and all year-round. When you have the chance, a heart-felt thank you is in order.

And the timing this week also focuses the spotlight on another dedicated group of men and women who not only make our communities better, but our nation.

Those who are serving and have served in the armed forces deserve all the respect we can muster.

It is appropriate and fitting that the nation pauses once a year to mark this tribute to veterans. Of interest, you will find within the ranks of the first responders several who also served in the military. In some instances it was a natural progression of service to fellow man that led them along that path.

We are fortunate at the Monitor to have a veteran in our midst as a weekly reminder that freedom is not free and involves sacrifice far beyond what many of us can imagine.

So to these two groups, thank you for your service. We simply can never express fully what it means to us to have you on our side.

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