A Moment of Thanks: Our First Responders

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Often, we think of emergencies as things that happen to “other people.” And who can blame us? It would be hard to enjoy life preoccupied with what could go wrong. Still, a little preparation can pay big. Even commonplace events such as storm damage can knock us off track if we aren’t ready. Luckily, September is National Preparedness Month, so you’ll have plenty of reminders to formulate a plan to weather emergencies, starting with this month’s issue of Prince William Living.

First, Helena Tavares Kennedy walks you through the network of fire, rescue and law enforcement personnel serving our community in “Answering the Call: Our First Responders,” on page 4. Learn who answers when you dial 911 and how the town, city and county departments collaborate in keeping the people of Prince William safe. I’m always in awe of these men and women, willing to put themselves in harm’s way to protect others—and then call it just a day on the job. Our first responders will tell you that they are not heroes. But I disagree.

As the public information officer for the Occoquan Woodbridge Lorton Fire Department, I can attest that we are fortunate to have skilled, caring and brave safety professionals protecting us. Be sure to thank your local firemen and police officers on Sept. 25, National First Responders Appreciation Day, and to show your appreciation throughout the year. They have earned it.

One way to support our first responders is by becoming a member of the Manassas City or Manassas Park Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). This national program prepares ordinary citizens to be able to help in disaster situations where first responders may be either overwhelmed or unreachable. The cities also call on CERT members to lend their services during large public events, weather incidents and other everyday situations. I encourage you to check out the free training sessions that the local CERTs are holding this fall. Learn
more in “Giving Back” on page 22.

Once you’ve done your “prep work,” with fresh water, nonperishable foods, medical supplies, cash and flashlights at the ready in case of emergencies, reward yourself with some #pwliving. In this issue you’ll also find stories on managing back-to-school chaos, Not Your Average Joe’s eclectic menu, farm-to-table yumminess, the latest from The Castaways Repertory Theatre and more.  Read the September issue here: https://princewilliamliving.com/2014/08/prince-william-living-september-2014

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