Thank you, emergency responders
The same goes for the voices on the other end of the line when you call 9-1-1. Emergency Communication Dispatchers work in a high stress environment every day, and these highly trained professionals perform their duties with distinction. The families of these responders also play an important role, holding down the fort at home during emergencies that sometimes happen at night, on weekends, or during holidays, often without much notice. Others give their time in the name of public safety in other ways. Every municipality in Vermont has an Emergency Management Director or Coordinator who is directly responsible for the organization, administration, and coordination of local emergency management. EMDs work to ensure disaster responses in their town are coordinated, and that the town has the physical tools it needs to respond to any number of emergencies. The Department of Public Safety understands the sacrifices of responders and the importance of supporting them. Vermont Emergency Management and the Division of Fire Safety facilitate and conduct free training throughout the year and administer federal grants for response organizations. The Vermont State Police, through the state Homeland Security Unit, also provides funding so response agencies can equip themselves to protect the lives of the public. Most firefighters and EMTs in Vermont are volunteers, and more are always needed. I would be remiss if I didn't encourage anyone who has ever thought about finding a role in emergency response to reach out to her or his local fire department or ambulance squad. You could support the department administratively, work on vehicles, maintain equipment, or attend to other duties depending upon your department's specific needs. Once again, on behalf of the entire Department of Public Safety, I express my sincere gratitude to all emergency responders for the work you do and the sacrifices you make. We are all better off for your efforts.
Thomas Anderson is the commissioner of the Vermont Department of Public Safety.
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