911…Nobody’s Home.

Posted: May 12, 2011 in Random Crap
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Does anyone ever really think about what happens when they call 911? Probably not…and there is more behind those lights and sirens than the average person would ever guess at. In small communities, especially, the work and time that goes into making sure there are lights and sirens coming when you call for help is astounding…and amazing.

The People.

Why amazing? Because most of the people that make it happen are just doing it out of kindness.

Small town ambulance services and fire departments are usually manned by volunteers…people with regular jobs, and families, and lives…who offer up their time for little or no compensation, and often without even a thank you.

It isn’t just time these people give up for you, although that is significant. Would you be surprised to know that a “simple” ambulance run requires 3 people and usually at least 3 hours? Or that a grass fire can take volunteers away from their homes for days? They also have to be trained…even the best volunteer wasn’t born with a medic license 😉

Training for a basic EMT certification takes half a year and several hundred dollars…and prices go up from there. Firefighters face about the same. Certifications must be renewed, equipment must be purchased, and new techniques must be kept up with…

Being a “volunteer” is a pretty full-time job all by itself…but since it doesn’t pay the bills, most volunteers have their “real” jobs to keep up with as well.

The Equipment.

There are thousands of dollars needed to stock an ambulance, not to mention the cost of the vehicle itself. Any idea how much a good firetruck will run ya? It costs a lot of money just to have the vehicles for an emergency service stocked and ready.

A building is needed to keep it all in, radios are needed to communicate, and there is maintenance to be done on all of it.

They’re hurting.

Ambulance services and fire departments are closing their doors everywhere. Without the support of the community, and volunteers to keep it all going, these small emergency companies are dying out…leaving entire counties without someone to help in a crisis.

What would you do if you called 911 and nobody was there?

The days of neighbors helping out a near-stranger and doctors making housecalls are gone, unfortunately…it’s sad to think that ambulances and firetrucks might someday be something you only see in the city.

Next time you see an emergency service fundraiser, consider helping out. It won’t take much to buy a cake at a bake sale, purchase a few raffle tickets, or get your car washed for a good cause. Better yet, find a small department and make a donation.

Even if you won’t do any of these things, next time you do call 911, say thank you to the people that show up. They probably aren’t being paid to come save you.

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