Mayer said first responders often expose themselves to unknown dangers when they go out on calls, but many say they don’t think about it when they go to help someone.
“They say ‘we’re not even thinking about that,’” she said. “‘We’re just trying to provide care.’”
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Other organizations have done smaller scale things like bake sales to honor responders, Mayer said, but this is the first statewide effort to honor them.
She said there will be several smaller events throughout the week to help give thanks to organizations like law enforcement and EMTs. Snacks and refreshements will be provided by the MHRB at sites like the Springfield Regional Medical Center so responders can receive some appreciation, Mayer said. Thank you banners will also be hung outside the board’s offices and other affiliates, she said.
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Pre-addressed, stamped postcards for 75 agencies will be available at local emergency departments for people to write thank you notes, Mayer said. Even people who weren’t directly helped by first responders are encouraged to take part in giving thanks.
“In today’s kind of fast-paced society, we don’t often take the time to write a note,” she said. “I’m hopeful it’ll have a lasting impact.”