I am passing this on as a positive action you and your Scouts can take in response to the Sandy Hook tragedy:
Colin is a paramedic in Calfornia, here’s his suggestion on how we can express our support for the local first responders –
That is the kind of thing you hope you never see because it will change you forever. When I feel devastated, a big part of it is feeling helpless, and the solution is finding a way to say something to someone that helps them.
I see from the Sandy Hook fire department website that they’re all volunteer, which means they have minimal training, work somewhere else for income, and have very little support staff to help with this. They will have only their families and each other.
I know this is what we as responders are here for; to help others without being thanked. But consider, if you are looking for someone to reach out to, sending their firehouse a card saying thanks for responding, and thanks for being there. Knowing that someone else recognizes how hard it was for them to walk into that scene means more than anything. You know well that they are just people working day jobs that were asked into this and did it without question. Some may have had kids in that school while they were being asked to help others.
I heard that there was only one injury. That means the responders watched 26 dead bodies get carried out and had literally NO ONE to direct their services to. That is the most helpless feeling in the world. Literally standing around in an unfolding tragedy where millions of people would help if they could. Like the parents of those 20 kids the first responders will never forget this or live it down. They will be expected to get back on the rig and go to the next call this evening and few will ever acknowledge how extraordinarily difficult this day was for them.
Yes, it’s a thankless job sometimes, and that’s something we are all OK with; it should be. But at times like this, it shouldn’t be thankless for anyone. I can guarantee that your note, if you wrote one, would be read, passed around, and pinned up on the message board for months. Mine are still there after years. These medics, firefighters and cops are parents of local kids too, and reaching out to them would be helping a stranger on multiple levels.
Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire Department
P.O Box 783 Sandy Hook, CT 06482
Oxford Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
484 Oxford Road, Oxford CT. 06478
Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
75 Main Street, Newtown CT. 06470
Newtown Police Department
3 Main Street, Newtown, CT 06470
You can also donate to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund to provide support services to the families and community as needed.