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National First Responders Day

national first responder day.

An emergency situation is typically rife with stress, fear, and panic. In these moments, there are a select collection of people that we turn to in order to de-escalate the situation and to treat and transport those in need of immediate care. The daily toll this takes on the workers’ own physical and mental health is not something that should go unaccounted for. In 2017, Congress designated October 28th as National First Responders Day, and Banyan Treatment Center is explaining the importance behind this holiday and what you can do to honor those that put their own well-being on the line for those that need it.  

What Is a First Responder 

This is a person that holds specialized training and who is the first to arrive at the scene of an emergency and provide assistance. The term includes those such as paramedics, law enforcement, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and 911 operators, all of whom are trained to handle a wide variety of scenarios that range in levels of severity. National First Responders Day recognizes the importance of this line of work and how necessary it is. 

Examples of emergency situations include: 

  • Severe weather, such as hurricanes, tornados, snow storms, and similar 
  • Chemical/Biological/Radiological Emergencies (CBR) 
  • Fire 
  • Airline/vehicle accidents 
  • National emergencies, such as war or terrorism 
  • Civil disorder, such as protests, riots, or any demonstration that has the potential to escalate into something more uncontrollable 

The inherent stress of emergency situations can make it difficult to act rationally and effectively. It is why first responders are trained so heavily in a variety of scenarios. It is almost as if they are trained to lift the burden from our shoulders and remind us that, no matter the situation, there will be someone there willing and ready to put their life on the line for you.  

Why Do We Celebrate? 

We celebrate in order to give the recognition that is deserved to those who put their lives on the line on a regular basis. According to the Department of Homeland Security, 4.6 million first responders, including full-time workers and volunteers, provide support to the communities where they reside. First Responders Day should serve as a national day of gratitude, dedicated to paying tribute to the countless hours of service that are provided in order to keep our communities safe.  

According to the CDC, 155 police officers and 97 firefighters lost their lives in the line of duty annually between 1998-2001.1 The rate of occupational injury is also leaps and bounds above the national average. What is important to consider is that these are often our own neighbors, family, and friends, and it is not just the first responders themselves that pay the price of their dedication.  

Their own families often are conscious of the tolls these careers can take. On a daily basis, they face the heightened risk that their loved one may not return home that day. Even when that is not the case, the fact remains that a physical and mental toll is taken. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is experienced by many, and extended time away from family can add strain to relationships. Even still, these people wake up, put on their uniforms, and offer their skills and support to those in their most vulnerable states.  

How to Honor First Responders 

October 28th gives us an opportunity to recognize a first responder in our lives. Being that some offer their services on a voluntary basis, you may not even realize you know one unless you gauge further. Take National First Responders Day to show your support in the ways you are able.  

You can show support by: 

  • Offering to treat them to a meal or beverage. 
  • Support programs that enhance services and resources for these workers. 
  • If you were in a situation where you were rescued by a first responder, make an effort to connect with them and let them know how you appreciate them. 
  • Share appreciation on social media by using the hashtag #NationalFirstRespondersDay. 

The mental toll that these careers can take is something that should not go unrecognized. Rates of PTSD and addiction remain high, leaving those that have already made immense sacrifices to continue struggling. Our Banyan locations understand this and, as such, offer excellent addiction treatment facilities and programs that factor in the unique experiences of first responders.  

To learn more about the levels of care and how they can provide support to you or your loved one, call our Banyan rehab locations at 888-280-4763 today. 



CDC - Emergency Preparedness and Response: Occupational Safety and Health Risks 


Related Readings 

Listening for PTSD 

PTSD and Alcohol Abuse 

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.