A personal thank you to some of our local heroes

Some may have noticed I have been a bit quiet over the last few weeks. To be honest, the actions of the Christchurch Coward rattled me pretty badly. Not so much because of the act itself, as monumentally awful as it was, I didn’t have skin in the game. I could compartmentalise in my mind the suffering of the victims to a large extent, allowing them to go through their own grieving process, I didn’t need to be a part of that. I also didn’t want to be a part of the television grief-porn and to that extent, I have not watched any MSM news since that day.

But what did hit me was the awful impact that the events were going to have on the emergency responders. The thought that so many police, ambulance, hospital staff etc would be heading home to their loved ones damaged internally because of what they had to endure, was extremely difficult for me. How hard it must be for those semi-forgotten professionals to shake this off worries me. How the wives and kids of these people will undoubtedly be affected is anyone’s guess. One postmortem at a time might be difficult enough, but to have to get fifty done in one hit must be really hard, no matter how used to it you are.

And I seem to have had my fair share of interactions with emergency responders over the last couple of months. Some of you fair Oilers may know that I am a bit injured at the moment. I blew my collarbone to pieces back on Feb 1st as a result of a freak bodysurfing accident. Shortly thereafter I had the naked swan flogging intruder and on Thursday last week, my dear wife’s 88-year-old Mum collapsed at my place and passed away.

I was glad that I had brushed up on my CPR recently when I did a post here on it. It didn’t work this time, but at least I was able to give it a go. It was traumatic nonetheless, and I was extremely grateful to another unsung hero at the other end of the 111 phone line who calmly and professionally helped me to do what was needed.

So it is all these people who are the real heroes in our society. The brave Police staff who ran toward the danger. The nurses and the doctors who will never forget.

And on a personal level, the ex-paramedic who left his friends on the beach to come and assist me, a total stranger, when he saw the need. The ambulance staff who went out of their way to get my belongings out of my car and even detoured to my house and searched for a set of clothes for me so I could get out of my wet togs, then popped back in to see me at home later to make sure I was okay as they knew I was on my own.

The Police officer who was at my house within fifteen minutes of my 111 call at 4am, and has kept me informed about the court process along the way. The volunteer firemen and woman who arrived at my rural house also within 15 minutes, in the middle of the night when the Mum in Law went down, who calmly took over the CPR etc, all the while treating her with absolute respect and confidence.

The Police officers who attended the scene and helped put my wife and family at ease while they had to go about their duties. The funeral director who had to drive for forty minutes from her home at 3am to help us out but was happy to wait a few minutes longer so I could pick up my daughter to come and say goodbye to her Grandma. And last but certainly not least, all the people who offer help, or just a hug to make things easier.

These are the true heroes in our communities. Their service so often goes unnoticed, and often unrewarded. They are there in our times of need and help without question, often at the expense of their own family time and regularly without any thought to their own safety over yours.

I salute them all.