How To Say "Thank you" To Local First Responders
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How To ACTUALLY Thank A First Responder, As Told By A Firefighter

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How To ACTUALLY Thank A First Responder, As Told By A Firefighter
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In the 2019 Super Bowl, a lot of major corporations came up with new ideas promoting service and sacrifice as well as other noble ideas. However, Verizon broke barriers this year by becoming the first multimedia conglomerate to create a website for donations and words of kindness for first responders across the country. I will give them credit, they made an attempt to do it, however, in all reality, very few people actually realized what they saw.

So in response to this, I came up with 5 awesome ways to say thank you to first responders, as myself am a firefighter.

1. Give back to your local Fire Department

In the state of Pennsylvania, more particularly around college campuses and more suburban areas around Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and Philadelphia, almost 97% of those fire departments rely on volunteers. Giving back could be as simple as baking cookies and making a card for when they have their monthly meeting. You could even ask to wash the fire trucks (trust me we won't say no to that!), or if you really want to get involved, VOLUNTEER! You don't need to run into burning buildings, but college students can help out in the office aspects of the fire department, accounting majors can help run the books, psychology majors can be support specialists for when firefighters come back from those calls that are just to rough to mention. The list goes on and on.

2. Go to Coffee with a Cop

Something that was started in Wilmington, Delaware was coffee with a cop. It is a simple way of the public being able to sit down with their local police department and ask them questions about what happens in their town. This is a perfect way to say thank you to those who protect and serve. Also, this is a great networking opportunity because you could potentially be working with them someday!

3. Ask a First Responder how they are doing.

This might be the biggest one that anyone can do! A simple how are you holding up can make the difference. Many times firefighters, police officers, and EMTs are too upset to talk about something immediately because they don't know how their friends or family might take it. This conversation might be the most beneficial thing you can have with them because it not only makes them feel at ease, but it also shows that you are thankful for them because you care.

4. Hold a Fundraiser

On a college campus it seems like there are fundraisers constantly, and most of the time for the same organizations over and over again. But when was the last time you saw a sorority having a bake sale for the police department because they just hired 5 more police officers to protect YOU. Or what about the charity softball game that the softball team has against a community partner and they split the proceeds with the community partner, but this year it was the Fire Department because they just bought a brand new fire truck so they can reach the windows in the residence halls. When was the last time that someone did a Pie an EMT on campus? All of these ideas and more can mean "thank you" to those organizations.


Yes, it may seem weird but joining a volunteer fire department or working part-time as an EMT (which actually gets you a little over $17/hour!) actually is the best thing you can do! Many college towns as I mentioned are protected by volunteers and many of the students that are in class next to you could be running into a burning building 20 minutes after class ended, or the girl in your English class who is always 5 minutes late because she just came from working a 12 hour overnight shift at the Ambulance station in town. If you join one of these organizations, you not only thank them for their service but you then become part of their family, a brotherhood and sisterhood bond that you will never forget.

Yes, Verizon could have done a lot more than just setting up a link to say thank you, but give them credit, it only took them how many years to recognize first responders, but only when an NFL legend was injured in a car accident. Take the time go have that bake sale, go wash that fire truck, or try it out yourself, come into a burning building with myself and the other great people in this world. Trust me, you won't regret it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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