Opinion

Holding community together

by
July 13, 2017

We should be grateful for the tireless work of our emergency workers who respond to the needs of our community day and night.

Whenever a tragedy happens they are there.

The small army of emergency workers, be it paid or volunteers, give up much more than their time.

There could be an accident in a small backwater rural road at 3am, or a traffic crash in the centre of town at peak hour, and within minutes emergency workers will be on the way.

The tireless work of our various emergency workers is part of the social fabric that holds our community together.

And often we can take their selfless sacrifices for granted.

At any traffic accident there could be people from Shepparton Search and Rescue, paramedics, police and our fire service at the scene at a moment’s notice.

Beyond the crash scenes, the tireless medical workers in our emergency departments stay calm and collected whenever they are needed.

For some, it is their full-time job, while others are volunteers just giving up their time to help the community.

But when it comes time to help, they all work together to get the job done.

A family member of someone caught up in last month’s Ardmona bus tragedy got in touch with The News to let us know how thankful they are for our emergency workers.

If you did not read it, have a flick back to page 5 and give it a few moments of your time.

After an accident such as the crash at Ardmona our thoughts flow first to the victims who were sadly lost, as it should.

But we should be also be thankful to the emergency services for everything they have sacrificed to try and lessen the tragedy.

The toll on our emergency workers cannot be understated.

Witnessing such trauma on a near daily basis is a fact of life for thousands of emergency workers across the country.

An estimated 10 per cent of Australian emergency workers suffer symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

While PTSD is more commonly associated with warfare, it has a devastating affect on the emergency service workers we see every day.

PTSD can increase rates of family breakdown and suicide, and despite the condition being a taboo subject for many years, it is now talked about openly, as it should be.

We should always be thankful for the sacrifices of our emergency workers and first responders.

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