The headline ‘Death of sedated woman sparks protests, questions’ concerns me. Recently an ambulance passed with sirens and flashing lights. Every driver pulled over until the ambulance went by. I have seen the same with police cars. Why do we respect sirens and flashing lights but not respect the responders themselves, most of whom are heroes?
When police officers, firefighters, or medics confront civilians, they have no idea who is who. Are the civilians involved? Do they have information or details? First responders are making a situational analysis. They are looking for facts as decisions need to be made in minutes, sometimes seconds. Normal civility is not present; responders are focused on solving the emergency, not social politeness.
Police are looking for the perpetrator of a crime; firefighters are looking for victims; medics are looking for information to help determine treatment for the injured. First responders ask for identification and information to differentiate between witnesses, bystanders, friends of the victim, the curious, and the potential perp.
Many critics demand their rights but accept no responsibility. When time is crucial, they respond to questions defiantly. Insolent civilians makes it harder for first responders.
Attorneys, protestors, reporters, and other critics make judgments days after the event, but first responders make decisions in seconds to save someone’s life, rescue a victim, or arrest the criminal. Give these heroes a break; remind yourself they are human and can make mistakes. Be human yourself and provide forgiveness the few times mistakes are made.