“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 13:15 English Standard Version)
With this verse in mind, consider First Responders.
Often, a person’s encounter with First Responders begins with a crisis. Someone needs help. It may be something that has happened, or it may be happening right now! The crisis is followed by a phone call to 911. On the other end of the phone call, a trained and experienced professional answers. They have likely never spoken before, but in this fateful moment they meet and the 911 professional is a lifeline for a person, or persons, in crisis.
After ascertaining the situation, the appropriate resource is dispatched to the call. It may be a fire fighter, a law enforcement officer, and/or an ambulance crew.
Consider for a moment each of these First Responders.
Like all First Responders, fire fighters willingly enter life-threatening situations without knowing who they rescue or whose homes they enter. They simply go. Fire Fighters are trained, equipped, and experienced. These professionals not only fight fires, but also respond to calls for medical assistance, constantly train and maintain (themselves and their equipment), and much, much more.
Next are the Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs). Like all First Responders, they respond to calls for service from friends and strangers. They lay down their lives in the service of all, starting when they swear an oath and continuing on patrol. LEOs carry and train with firearms and willingly enter dangerous situations to save lives and engage threats. Sometimes LEOs get a bad rap for giving out speeding tickets. Go to the scene of an accident where a young person has lost their life speeding and crashing, and you’ll understand that you should slow down. Go to notify next of kin that a loved one won’t ever be coming home, and you’ll really understand.
Next are the Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and Paramedics that make up the Ambulance Crew. These are the people who get down and dirty in bodily fluids, blood-borne pathogens, and interpersonal dynamics and conflicts. They too lay down their lives for friends and strangers.
What do all these First Responders have in common? Each lays down his/her life for friends and strangers. Each has an incredibly stressful and stress filled job and carries the burden encountering people on their worse day or last day. Each go where others fear to tread. All make a tremendous difference in the lives of many! The next time you see a First Responder, stop and say thank you to the very people who lay down their lives for you – whether you be friend or stranger.
Printed in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner’s Faith section, Aug 2, 2019.
Married 25 years, 2 kids, 1 cat and 1 dog. Ordained & Chaplain for 20 years. Ministry philosophy - we're all in this together and Jesus leads the way. Hobbies: working in the woodshed, teaching, and competitive shooting