To Protect And Serve

Westport has had a ton of emergencies lately.

Cars careen into each other, and into buildings and trees, with alarming frequency. During the recent fireworks display, 2 very intoxicated teenagers were taken to the hospital. Even on the water, calls come in to 9/11.

Our police, fire and EMT personnel have had a busy few weeks. Each time, they respond with compelling speed, professionalism, courtesy, grace and compassion.

Two examples are worth recounting.

A friend’s car was recently plowed into by a young driver. Despite her harrowing experience, my friend was heartened by the response of so many emergency workers.

Their quick assistance, calm manner and reassuring words helped her get through the day — and the days that followed.

(She also was amazed at how many Westporters — friends and strangers — stopped to offer everything she needed, from water and a cell phone to warm, wise words.)

On Saturday, I was at Compo Beach when a marine unit raced out to the Sound. With alarming speed, it escorted a boat into the marina.

Cops, firefighters and EMTs poured in. It was a gruesome accident, involving a propeller (and alcohol). The emergency workers took care of every detail with a reassuring combination of speed and care. They also helped the victim’s distraught friends.

And though the investigation must not have been easy, the police had that under control too.

We hear so many sirens in Westport, we’ve almost become oblivious. Sometimes our town seems like one big triage center.

It’s important to remember that behind every siren are human beings — those who are hurt, and those who help them.

Here’s a big, heart-felt thank you to the men and women who help us all day, every day.

11 responses to “To Protect And Serve

  1. Kerstin Warner

    Excellent post, Dan. Over the past five years, I’ve gotten to know some of the firefighters, police officers, and EMS personnel very well, and I am moved by their dedication, compassion and professionalism. How did I get to know them? By volunteering with the Westport Community Emergency Response Team. If anyone would like to serve when our town is in need, I recommend joining the next training session this fall. Here’s a link: Recently, we have been activated to set up the emergency shelter at Long Lots during the last big storm, help run warming shelters at the senior center, assist with flu shot clinics, and provide additional traffic direction at various community fundraisers and events, most recently at the Maker Faire in April. I have benefitted by becoming more prepared for emergencies, getting to know some good-hearted people in my community who are willing to put themselves forward in a time of need, and offer my support to our firefighters, police officers and EMS team.

  2. thanks dan…a VERY well-deserved tribute!!!

  3. That’s great Kerstin. Thank you for your service. Thank you too Dan. It just breaks my heart that more people can’t even take the time to write a little thank you out here. People are so quick to put their two cents in on the other topics Dan writes about but when it comes to our first responders it’s negative or crickets.

  4. Westport Convert

    I agree. Great tribute. But, Dan, come on.

    “We hear so many sirens in Westport, we’ve almost become oblivious. Sometimes our town seems like one big triage center.”

    You make it sound like Westport has suddenly become the new Bridgeport for emergencies. I am going to safely assume you must have never lived in a metropolis or urban environment before.


    • WC – I follow what Dan means, regarding the increased activity in emergency vehicles and their alarming presence hitherto in our community. Relatively speaking, I fully agree and I’m certain he can wrap his head around the difference between living in a suburban community and a vast metropolis. And Dan, I get it: our emergency personnel, volunteer and otherwise, are there to serve — and have been — with increased frequency. THAT, I believe, was the point of your story…

  5. Recognition for being there wen needed is part of the motivation for our reponders. Great article.

  6. It’s a shame that posters like WC put cold water on an otherwise upbeat article. Bravo to all emergency personnel, professional and volunteer as well. Can’t wait for his/her resonse to this

  7. Tom, WC is a consistent complainer. You won’t have to wait long. 🙂

    • Eric Buchroeder

      Water Closet is a shining example of what you get when you don’t have enough fiber in your diet.

  8. As a resident who lives near the Fire Station next to our new big friend, Terrain, I’ve heard more sirens than usual and seen more activity in and out of that Fire Station than ever (thankfully, they don’t “siren up” until they hit a certain spot on Post Road).
    So I welcome the comment as approaching literal, actually.

    After living in other cities where it takes an hour or more to get the police to come and manage a murder that has just occurred, I agree Dan! They are doing a fantastic, and very responsive job.