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Thursday, September 13, 2018

First Responders Thanked In Saugeen Shores

Southampton | by John Divinski  

A good turnout for first responders at an appreciation community BBQ in Jubilee Park.

A good turnout of Saugeen Shores first responders and the people they serve, at an appreciation community BBQ in Jubilee Park in Southampton.

As we told you yesterday, the idea of the get-together was to simply say "Thank You" to the women and men who serve the community and its citizens.

Saugeen Shores councillor Cheryl Grace of Southampton, knows only too well, what first responders mean to the community.

She tells the story of a blustery, winter night in early January a couple of years ago, when no one should have been on the roads.

However, a family member had suffered a medical emergency, along the shoreline of Lake Huron and help was needed.

Grace says she called 9-1-1 and within six minutes, paramedics arrived on the scene despite the weather and dealt with the issue taking the person to hospital.

The Chief of Fire Services Phil Eagleson says respondling to fires is always stressful for first responders but it's the accidents firefighters respond to that can cause stress.

Eagleson says at times, "You see things that you can't unsee and they stick with you."

He says it's heartbreaking when children are involved in accidents.

Eagleson says the kids are scared and don't understand what's going on and sometimes, it's the responders that have to separate the children from their parents.

He says when that happens, "it's a bad day in the life of a first responder."

Police Chief Mike Bellai referred to an incident recently in Southampton, where a person had to be dealt with.

Bellai says officers don't know from one call to the next what kind of situation they're going into and they have to make split decisions that could affect their lives, their family's lives or the life of the person they're dealing with.

He says, "You're always bouncing around on an emotional roller coaster and you have to do the right thing."

In the case of the Southampton incident, there were no injuries and the subject was subsequently released but Bellai says, as officers approach a situation like that, they really don't know what's going to happen.

The officers do know they've been trained to protect the community and its citizens and do the best they can, no matter what's thrown at them.

The appreciation BBQ for all first responders in the municipality was sponsored by several service clubs and organizations who were on hand to help out.

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