Thank a First Responder Day

June 3, 2021

Thank a First Responder Day

Join communities around Australia, on Wednesday 9 June, to say thank you to the first responders who do so much to protect and care for our communities.

This ‘Thank a First Responder Day’, share your message of thanks, host a morning tea for the first responder in your life and show your gratitude.

From cities pausing to cheer for frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, to honouring the bravery of firefighters through devastating bushfires, taking a moment to show gratitude and reflect on the personal sacrifice made by emergency workers can go a long way.

Working on the frontline supporting Australians in crisis, The Salvation Army is well aware of the unpredictable nature of emergency work and the passion and commitment of those who care for the wellbeing and safety of others.

Across Australia 300,000 first responders – paramedics, police, firefighters and emergency rescue workers – go to work every day not knowing what they may face. From putting their own health at risk caring for people battling COVID-19, responding to natural disasters and being first on the scene after a fatal traffic incident, first responders have never been under more pressure.

Our Salvation Army Emergency Services (SAES) witness first-hand the immense sacrifice and personal toll of responding during an emergency situation. Supporting those supporting others, our teams activate year-round in emergencies to ensure first responders are nourished with warm meals and refreshments during shifts and emotionally cared for through moments of great urgency. But the impact of working in emergency response can remain long after the disaster has eased.

The reality is that many first responders don’t have the time or resources to recover mentally and physically from what they experience in their line of work. Illnesses such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are common, and the impacts on first responders, as well as their families, can be overwhelming.

While it may seem small, the act of saying thanks for the challenging, traumatic and dangerous work they do, helps ensure these brave people know they are recognised, appreciated and valued by the communities they protect.

“Having been involved with disaster response for a substantial part of my time with The Salvation Army I have grown a deep respect for all who are part of the first responder teams who we rely on to help in many accidents, disasters and other incidents,” says Major Drew Ruthven, General Manager Strategic Emergency and Disaster Management.

“To see what they see so often and to bring the level of expertise into play at an incident is a remarkable thing. We as a broad community of people are in debt to all who support and act on our behalf when they are needed most. I also want to mention those who work one step back, but still on the front, supporting family and friends affected by incidents and accidents to loved ones.

Thank you for all you do and who you are.”

Please join us in thanking a first responder on Wednesday, 9 June. Host an event or post thank you messages on your social media pages using the hashtags #ThankAFirstResponder and #PowerOfThanks

You can find all the resources you need to get behind, and promote, Thank a First Responder Day here

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