The sense of duty takes priority for first responders

Published 3:02 pm Thursday, December 30, 2021

BY GRACIE FIELDS
STAR CORRESPONDENT

Whether in uniform or casual clothes, first responders are always on call.

Most first responders will call themselves parents, partners, and friends. For those who choose to serve, apprehension is normal.

“It’s frustrating, but you get used to it. I always think it never comes at a convenient time,” said Jerry Bradley, Elizabethton Police Department captain.

First responders include paramedics, police officers, and firefighters. Although there are times of uncertainty, most first responders can count on the unpredictability of the job.

“It’s enjoyable because of the unknown,” said Eric Shepard, recalling his time as a paramedic. “Things can never get old because the atmosphere is always changing.”

Most first responders make it a priority to connect with the community. Through connections, police officers hope citizens will trust their local law enforcement.

“The best strategy is just getting out and talking to people,” Bradley said. “Let them know you’re a person just like them.”

Whether taking a walk downtown or saving someone’s life, duty always comes first to the citizens they serve.
“Being on call, I have to plan my weeks around what might happen,” said Samantha Maney, sharing how life and work can sometimes clash. “It can be difficult, but I know it’s worth it.”

All first responders live normal lives just like everyone else. Nancy Garrison, a paramedic/billing specialist with the Carter County Rescue Squad, hopes to have new faces join the force soon.

“We love to welcome new faces, we’re actively looking for new members. If anyone has any questions they can feel free to contact me.”