6 Uplifting First Responder Stories from 2023

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We always hear bad news. We talk about trauma and difficulty in almost every post. So today we’re hitting the lighter side and highlighting some uplifting first responder stories from this year.

First responder life isn’t all depressing. There’s a reason you’re here, a drive, an inspiration. Here’s to keeping that inspiration going.

Enjoy these six uplifting first responder stories.

Bionic Buddies

Image from WFMZ.

It’s not new to see man’s best friend helping first responders, but this type of dog doesn’t need chew toys.

Robotic dogs made by Ghost Robotics in Philadelphia are designed to move across hills, stairs, gravel, and even through water. Partnered with internet providers and groups like FirstNet, these robot dogs bring a new type of service to first responders. Equipt with sensors, these carbon K-9s can do search and rescue or survey a parameter for military bases. Imagine what a robotic dog could do in the field for your department.  More on the story from WFMZ here.

That’s One Old Helicopter!

Image from 1stResponderNews.com.

You don’t usually hear about helicopters having birthdays, but this one is special. Trooper 3, Maryland State Police’s 3rd aircraft, just celebrated its 50th anniversary this month in Fredrick Municipal Airport. When a machine lasts that long and keeps serving, you celebrate. National Guard and other state police (for Maryland and Pennsylvania) vehicles were present. After all, we suppose the helicopter wanted its friends at the party too.

A Career Highlight

Image from 1stResponderNews.com.

Most first responders know about and even dream about getting the Stork Award. It’s awarded when a first responder delivers a baby in the field (parking lots outside the hospital count!) Nora Acuna, a 911 dispatcher for Seminole County Fire Department, took a call from Brendan Burke whose wife was in labor. They knew they couldn’t get to a hospital in time and Nora calmly talked them through the birth. Firefighters were on the scene just six minutes later. Nora’s training earned her the Stork Award, something she will likely treasure for years to come.

Stretching to Destress

Image from SWNS.

We all have different ways to give back to our departments, but one yoga instructor is taking it to the mat. Olivia Kvitne Mead, founder of Yoga for First Responders (YFFR), a non-profit, has been developing and sharing yoga programs specifically for first responders. She discovered its benefits when working with veterans and noticed how it helped with PTSD. Since its founding in 2013, she has been using YFFR to bring yoga to departments all over. Would you like Olivia to come to your department? More on this uplifting first responder story here.

The Littles Go a Long Way

Image by 1stRCF.

What kid doesn’t imagine being a hero at some point? That’s just what First Responder Children’s Foundation was thinking when they launched their Junior First Responder Camp, and it’s been a big success. Children have been working with local departments and learning skills, fostering positive relationships, and practicing team building through art, sports, and STEM education. This program is teaching and inspiring the next generation to learn more about law enforcement, fire fighting, and EMS and helping them gain a stronger appreciation for their communities. It’s also encouraging current responders as they continue to inspire the young ones in all their cooperative activities.

Alive, Well, & Grateful

Image from AFD.

In March of this year, Damon Hoffman arrived at work not feeling too well. His coworkers called for help. Austin-Travis County EMS showed up, but Damon soon went into cardiac arrest. EMS performed 40 minutes of CPR and administered five shocks from the AED. Then Damon was transported to the hospital for further care. After more care and intervention at the hospital, Damon eventually recovered. In May, Damon and some coworkers went to the station to thank the first responders. It’s not too often a person comes back to thank the rescuers but Damon did just that. The department appreciated it and reiterates the importance of knowing CPR. You just never know when you need it. For the full uplifting first responder story, click here.

Got More?

There’s so much good news out there but the bad stuff just seems to take up more attention. Got more good news? Let us know! We’re happy to share it here and spread the positivity. People need to hear more uplifting first responder stories. The job’s not all bad. So, if you have something to share, reach out so we can share it too!