First Responders

Politicians in their public announcements and remarks have repeatedly praised the “first responders.”

I would like to praise the real first responders – my friends and neighbors in Houston who got out their john boats, high trucks, and all kinds of flotation devices and rescued people trapped by flood waters. They often worked for many hours before police, firemen, national guard and Coast Guard were engaged in those same neighborhoods.  Local coverage of the storm is testament that when the official first responders were present, five times as many neighbor volunteers and volunteers from hundreds of miles away continued side by side with the official responders.

When national news organizations arrived they got the ride-alongs on the Coast Guard helicopters and boats leaving a dramatically different picture of who the real first responders were.

I praise the dedication and valor of all the first responders whether official or not.  Our politicians need to spend less time patting each other’s backs to recognize the real contribution of the volunteers who were quick to act in aid of themselves and their neighbors.

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