National First Responders Day on October 28 recognizes the heroic men and women who make it their business to take immediate action when disaster strikes. Whether you’ve had your own emergency or not, it’s not hard to understand and appreciate the dangerous and difficult work they do.
HISTORY OF NATIONAL FIRST RESPONDERS DAY
Congress designated October 28th as National First Responders Day in 2017. The resolution honors the firefighters, police officers, EMTs, and all those who are first on the scene in stressful situations. Notably, the family of Sean Collier, a police officer ambushed and murdered during events related to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, supported the resolution.
A 1966 federal study called Accidental Death and Disability: The Neglected Disease of Modern Society named accidental injuries as the “leading cause of death in the first half of life’s span.”
Further, the report showed that vehicle accidents during 1965 alone killed more Americans than were lost in the Korean War — and stated that seriously wounded citizens would fare better in a war zone than on the average city street. The report also identified a lack of regulation or standards for ambulance operations or provider training.
The authors made several recommendations for both managing and preventing accidental injuries, including the standardization of emergency training for “rescue squad personnel, policemen, firemen and ambulance attendants.” This standardization led to the first nationally recognized curriculum for EMTs (emergency medical technicians).
Professional training today can take anywhere from one to three years. Candidates learn life support techniques in first-response situations, including CPR, tourniquet application, and treatment of wounds. Paramedics deliver more advanced procedures and therefore require more extensive education and training.