Events showcase emergency services

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

On Friday, Cassville High School students had the opportunity to see some of Barry County's emergency workers in action. Cox EMS, the Cassville Fire Department, the Cassville Police Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Barry County Sheriff's Department, Barry County E-911, the Barry County Coroner's office and CHS nurse Elaine Boles displayed their skills at a mock crash scene that occurred on the grassy lawn south of the high school.

This was the third docudrama event I have had the opportunity to attend as a journalist. Although I find these events gut wrenching to watch, and I usually shed several tears during the assemblies that followed the mock crashes, I am always honored to be in attendance. Watching our local emergency workers in action reminds me how valuable these volunteers and professionals are to our community. Local law enforcement officers, 911 dispatchers and emergency medical technicians commit their lives to responding to tragedies and giving their all to help those in need of assistance. Numerous others in our community volunteer their time as firefighters and first responders to help save lives.

This week, the Barry County E-911 Operations Center also celebrated National Telecommunicator Week, which is designed to show appreciation for 911 dispatchers. Often 911 dispatchers are the last to be thanked by communities. Even though these individuals do not respond to crash scenes and fires, they offer the first level of assistance in emergencies. Barry County E-911 dispatchers receive special training that allows them to provide callers with directions to keep those who are injured or sick stable until emergency responders arrive at the scene. Dispatchers also provide detailed instructions that help officers, firefighters and medical technicians find the location of those who are sick or injured.

Once a year, the Cassville Democrat utilizes newspaper space to recognize the emergency workers who serve area residents. During that time, we encourage Barry Countians to take time to thank the volunteers and professionals who serve as law enforcement officers and emergency workers. I know these unsung heroes appreciate hearing "thank you" from time to time, but none of them serve in hopes of being recognized. Each of these men and women give their time and energy because they care about their neighbors and friends.

This week, the Cassville Democrat is honored to have another opportunity to showcase the emergency services offered by local professionals and volunteers. We appreciate all of those who choose to serve in these fields. It is nice to know that these men and women are available and ready to help when they are needed.

Lindsay Reed