In Praise of First Responders

Deputy director of International Operations for United Rescue Gavriel Friedson, writing for the Jerusalem Post, has offered some insights into the mindsets and emotions of the first responders operating in an area exposed to terror attacks. Referencing the rounds of stabbings that have broken out in Israel since October, he wrote of the confusion and strain of stepping into an environment where first responders are required to help any who need aid — whether attacker or victim — while also potentially making themselves targets as well.

Even once the event is over, and all reasonable aid has been rendered, he also talks of the difficulties of resolving the conflicting emotions the job of a first responder brings, with the need to try to maintain some separation between the feelings surrounding those who may have committed horrible acts and the need to offer them assistance and aid regardless. The additional strain of not knowing whether the next call will be one requiring simple air or responding another act of terrorism offers a constant pressure on the individual. However, the option of choosing not to respond is one which is not considered for, as Friedson notes, “Giving up on humanity is for the terrorists, not for the first responder.”