Not just anyone is cut out to work in public safety. It’s a thankless profession chosen by those with a desire to serve.
Let’s face it. No one becomes a police officer or firefighter for the great pay or schedule. Many of our local officers work second jobs in order to provide for their families.
Any given day on the job will bring its own set of challenges. It’s not just about pouring water on fires and writing speeding tickets. And it doesn’t end when the sun goes down or the weekend arrives.
As a local county sheriff told me recently, at the end of the day, his deputies have a family waiting at home, too. Keeping communities safe can mean risking their own lives for officers and firefighters.
This week’s anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks should serve as a reminder of how fortunate we are in metro Atlanta to have so many top-notch officers and firefighters a quick phone call away when they’re needed. Hopefully, you won’t have to call 911 very often in your lifetime. But if the time comes for me to call 911, I want the person on the other end to get me help, and fast.
In my work, I interact daily with the public information officers who serve as the voice for their police departments, fire departments and sheriffs’ offices. These are the men and women whose names you’ll read in stories on ajc.com or whose faces you’ll see on the television news. This group, too, is filled with class acts. Firefighters or officers first; spokespersons second. I’m sure they get tired of all of my questions, but they answer them anyway so I can keep readers updated.
If you have the opportunity, take a minute to thank a member of public safety in your community. And if you’re an officer, deputy, firefighter, paramedic, operator or dispatcher, thank you for being there.