Paynesville Press - September 11, 2002

Community Perspective

Reflections on 9/11

By Steve Stang

In the very earliest morning hours, Sept. 11, 2001, started out like every other normal day.

However, as we were soon to learn, that changed quickly.

On Sept. 11, 2001, our country witnessed one of the largest terroristic acts ever carried out upon this country. On this day, over 3,000 innocent people were killed, including many public safety professionals such as police officers, fire and rescue personnel, and EMS medical teams.

Since this terroristic act, when our colleagues in the EMS field lost their lives, we have begun seeing changes in hopes to prepare our own fire, rescue, and ambulance teams if any terroristic threats were carried out closer to our area.

With our ongoing education and training, we are finding that our new training schedule for the upcoming years has bioterrorism, chemical warfare, and anthrax scares as part of the curriculum.

In the days following the attack on our country, many things have changed, but some have not.

A few weeks after 9/11, I was at our local ambulance garage one evening when a 9-1-1 call came in and, as I watched our ambulance staff and fire and rescue staff coming in to respond to the call, I noticed there was not any hesitation or second thoughts on their part to the task at hand and the call to care for life.

We see the willingness to work together and the coordination of efforts between our local police, fire and rescue, and EMT medical staff. And everyday, across America, thousands of public safety professionals dedicate their lives to protecting us. They work all across this land. Theyıll be there tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that.

Sept. 11 will never be a normal day again in the hearts and minds of those affected by the events of the day.

I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to our fire and rescue personnel and our police officers that respond to our needs: seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

And, I would like to extend a special thank you to our ambulance corps members for their dedication. Without them, our services would not be possible.

In the wake of what happened on 9/11, you can measure some things: the height of a building, the size of its floors. Brick and steel are one thing, but human lives you canıt calculate that.

Nearly 3,000 people died on 9/11. Numbers do not do justice to what was really lost...fathers, mothers, wives, husbands, sons, daughters.

Stang is the Emergency Medical Services coordinator for the Paynesville Area Health Care System.

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