Boston’s Marathon First Responders

I’d been up 25 hours by the time I made it home from work yesterday morning. My middle son was off visiting a prospective college for the weekend. His mother contacted me about picking him up around 1:00 PM, Monday. So I set my alarm for noon.

Three hours after falling asleep, the buzzing from the clock woke me. I headed out to St. John Fisher, picked up my son and dropped him off home. All I could think about was getting back to sleep. However, I was now not tired. I was. But sleep was not going to happen immediately.

Switching on the television I learned about the two explosions that rocked the Boston Marathon.

The marathon was started in 1897, with a staggering 18 participants, now has over 27,000 runners annually. The event has always been run by the Boston Athletic Association. It is “ranks as one of the world’s best-known road racing events.” According to wiki, the event attracts more than 500, 000 spectarors.

Two explosions. Dirty bombs. Hundreds injured. Several dead. The coverage came at the screen from every possible angle. More cameras seemed present than people. I am sure even more is to come as cell phone videos are released to the public.

The one thing I noticed right off, all the First Responders at hand. While many people ran from the explosions–as expected (and I am not faulting anyone for fleeing!), I saw firemen, policemen, National Guard and paramedics run toward those now in need.

While I am not a supporter of Obama, or a fan of his extreme liberal/socialism politics, one thing about his aired speech Monday evening was appreciated. He recognized and thanked First Responders.

When I arrived at work tonight, the one thing I heard over and over was that terrorists “are going to have to pay for this.” I agree. However, I also heard most people indicate that it was a middle Eastern country/people responsible. It may have been. It may not. I just remember the Oklahoma City bombings. Everyone was certain it was a foreign attack. Everyone was ready to go to war. And everyone was surprised and shocked to learn an American had been responsible.

Today. Tomorrow. For a little while, anyway, I don’t want to focus on the tragedy. I want  to celebrate the heroes. Whether paid, volunteers, bystanders, nurses, doctors, athletes, the National Guard or spectators — many, many jumped into the cross-hairs of potential accelerated devastation to assist the injured, donate blood, clear the streets, or maintain crowd control, instead of running from the danger.

It has been reported that shortly after the second explosion all cell tower activity was stopped to prevent the possibility of further detonations. I am not sure how this affected the Boston 911 Center. I am sure the call takers, dispatchers and shift supervisors had their hands full. Radio traffic had to be hectic and chaotic at best. Many will forget 911 was ever involved. I will not. Thank you to those on the opposite ends of the radios and calls, helping those who help others!

Their actions, those heroics, are to be applauded and recognized. Always. Everyday.

Outrage will flow from me once those responsible are caught, no doubt. No doubt. Right now, I am less concerned about anger. I am more emotional about the destruction, the loss, and the praise deserved and received by those who reacted positively in such a terrible time of crisis.

As always,

Phillip Tomasso

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7 thoughts on “Boston’s Marathon First Responders”

  1. Well said.
    This is a tragedy of immense proportion. No doubt, all Americans are looking at it as an attack on our country, our way of life. What we must remember, I think, is that attacks come from within as well as from abroad. We are participants in a world economy- a world of people just like ourselves who also find this attack appalling. We should not/cannot begin pointing fingers at anyone or any group of people. What we can do – as Americans – is, like the first responders (all kinds of people who immediately dove in to begin helping the injured) refuse to live in fear. A reasonable person will carry on doing the things he/she must do. If we give in to unreasonable fear, our enemies (whether foreign or Americans critical of some aspect of our culture) have won.
    Thank you for reminding us to focus our energy on the good things that are happening, even in a time of tragedy.

  2. Thank you. I am a Paramedic (not near Boston). I never asked for thanks. I never expected it. I was merely doing my job. I got satisfaction from my job, I loved my job, and that was enough. Occasionally someone would thank me, and it was appreciated, but not necessary. Then there was 9/11. 343 firefighters raced to their deaths, along with a few dozen or so more police officers, EMTs and Paramedics (that don’t get counted in the 343 “bravest”). I couldn’t go anywhere without being nearly mobbed by people wanting to thank me for being me. Perhaps I exagerate about the “mob” but it sure felt that way. People would walk up to me, shake my hand, thank me, and tell me they could never do my job. I’d ask what their job was, and tell them I could never do their job either. What else can you say?

  3. A very well written article, praising those that serve. I think everyone was very lucky that The race committee had contracted for so many first responders at the finish line. I so believe for many , this was the case for a life saved.
    Seeing the you wrote this article on April 16th, gives me a bit of pause. It has been reported since April 15th ( that horrible day) that the problems will cell phone was that the system was overloaded. This might be a good time to remind people, sometimes it is better to text, and live those phone lines open for Emergency personal.

  4. Thank you for recognizing and putting emphasis on all the emergency personnel. Especially thank you for pointing out the 9-1-1 dispatchers. Being one myself, we are nearly always the forgotten ones. Comes with the territory. But it’s nice to have so many sisters and brothers in the field praised like that. Thank you.

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