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Are We All “First Responders”?

I get a $5 dollar burger every Wednesday at a local restaurant and the reason: As a doctor, I am considered by them as a “First Responder”. The term, “First Responder” originated in 1970 and this is usually reserved for those people that are the first ones on the scene of an accident/emergency to provide help. Most people would consider police people, firefighters, EMTs and nurses as ‘First Responders” with doctors being more of a “second responder”. Never one to turn down a hamburger deal, I accept the restaurant’s designation of a doctor as a “First Responder” as well.

We ALL have probably been in situations when/where we are the “first on the scene” of our own or family member’s health crisis. This could range from a fairly simple issue such as our child falling down and having a slight cut to a major health issue such as a choking incident, heart attack, passing out episode or similar potentially dangerous situation.

We do not need to go to nursing or medical school to pick up some simple skills in addressing potential serious health issues. For example, a simple CPR course, learning the Heimlich maneuver, being instructed how to temporarily immobilize a fractured limb…these, and similar interventions may be required of us before the actual “First Responders” arrive via a 911 call.

Take a step back and ask yourself whether you feel equipped to handle a sudden health event that occurs right in front of you, whether this is “you”, a family member or someone next to you at work. If you feel that you are only prepared to dial 911, please consider taking a simple course that would provide you with some simple “First Responder” skills until more professional help arrives. The life you save could be your own, someone you love or a person that will thank you for their rest of his/her life for your life-saving efforts.

And as POLICE are considered “FIRST RESPONDERS”, here is “THE POLICE” signing “Every Breath You Take”.

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