If we’ve learned anything from the year 2020, it’s that our first responders play an essential role in our society. These individuals put their lives on the line, working long shifts. Their contributions to our safety are often understated or taken for granted. That’s why October 28 has been declared First Responders Day to recognize our firefighters, police, and emergency medical services. 

Here in Colorado, where Terra Vida is based, wildfires have caused thousands of evacuations and millions of dollars in damages. The 200,000-acre Cameron Peak fire is the largest in the state’s history, and the East Troublesome fire runs a close second encompassing nearly 190,000 acres. Our first responders have worked diligently to contain the fires and help those who have been impacted. 

Why First Responders Deserve Our Recognition

First responders have very stressful jobs that frequently expose them to upsetting events. Not only do they work long shifts (sometimes 24 hours), but they also witness violence, gore, and other distressing situations. According to research, 85 percent of first responders experience mental health issues, and more of them die by suicide than in the line of duty. Diagnosis of PTSD are ten times higher among first responders than in the civilian population. Unfortunately, many of them feel tremendous pressure to appear “strong,” which can prevent them from seeking help. 

By showing our appreciation for first responders and destigmatizing mental illness and PTSD, we can create a safer environment for the people who keep us safe, despite the dangers of their jobs. It all starts with the recognition of their sacrifices to protect us — and how we can help them in return.

Celebrating First Responders Day

In 2019, the Senate passed a bipartisan resolution setting October 28 as First Responders Day. The impetus came from the All Clear Foundation, which emerged to honor those who responded to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. However, Colorado was the first state to make it official, having approved a bill back in 2017.

Now, First Responders Day has new meaning as the country has relied upon first responders in the wake of the pandemic, wildfires, and civil unrest. We know that many of our firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, and police officers have experienced difficult, traumatizing events this year. It’s more important than ever to show our support.

How to Thank First Responders

The easiest way to show your appreciation for first responders is to thank them. Take the time to send a handwritten thank-you note, along with flowers or a small gift, to your local fire/EMS or police departments. 

If you’d like to support mental health services for first responders, you can donate to any number of organizations. Companions for Heroes provides dogs and cats to provide emotional support for first responders. The Gary Sinise Foundation partners with several organizations to connect firefighters with mental health services. Operation Gratitude runs a number of programs, including care packages that are sent to first responders. Other helpful organizations include:

  • National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
  • First Responders Children’s Foundation
  • Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation
  • Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation
  • Concerns of Police Survivors
  • The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation
  • Cops 4 Causes

Supporting First Responders with PTSD

Colorado, which took the first official step to establish First Responders Day and is in eternal debt to our hardworking firefighters, EMS, and police, is where Terra Vida calls home. Through our commitment to empowering our communities for wellness, we are proud to offer premium CBD products that may provide relief for our first responders.

Research shows that CBD can relieve symptoms of PTSD by regulating the amygdala, which is overactive in traumatized brains. Studies also suggest that a dose of CBD immediately after witnessing a traumatic event can help the brain avoid creating triggering memories. 

Taking capsules or gummies, and even using CBD oil directly on the skin, have been shown to reduce anxiety and mitigate PTSD’s effects. For first responders who regularly witness traumatic events, CBD presents a viable option for mental wellness and stress relief.

Conclusion

Our first responders have traded normal stress and regular routines for long shifts spent defending our communities. They are responsible for saving lives, assisting injured people, and promoting general public safety. In fulfilling this responsibility, they frequently sacrifice their own health for others’ well-being. This First Responders’ Day, see how you can give back, whether it’s thanking your local firefighters, EMTs, and police for their service, giving CBD to a loved one who is a first responder, or donating to the organizations who are working hard to support our heroes’ mental health.



SOURCES:

 

 

Fairy God Boss

https://fairygodboss.com/career-topics/national-first-responders-day

EMS World

https://www.emsworld.com/article/1223389/october-28-first-responders-day

Medical News Today

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/cbd-for-ptsd#can-it

Denver Post

https://www.denverpost.com/2020/10/23/colorado-wildfires-update-latest-on-the-east-troublesome-cameron-peak-and-calwood-fires/

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