But Selective Memory Still Exists.
Usually the “Never Forget…” term is relative to the evil that was enacted, the death of the innocent victims, or the sacrifice that was performed by the responders.
Some say that we haven’t been very good at remembering what happened as it relates to the first responders and their sacrifice.
I speak to friends that spent time on the pile or at the Pentagon, working under extraordinary circumstances, exposing themselves to risk beyond anyone’s expectations or understanding. Most of them continue to have some physical and mental health impacts, some stronger and more invasive than others.
We still do not have a readily accessible USAR/SAR respirator system that protects the responder’s lungs, allows clear person-to-person communication, or is easy to breath in. We still have no way to deploy air scent canines in a hazmat situation and protect their health. CISM and PTSD treatment and research continues to be underfunded and disrespected as a diagnosis.
SAR teams still exist that do not provide even basic protections for their volunteers. Every team should provide their responders with short and long term disability coverage, workers compensation coverage, and a death benefit.
None of this should require the memory of a horrific terrorist event for management to be prompted to action in protecting their current and future responders. NASAR continues to advocate for responder protections both physical and service oriented.
On behalf of the communities that you serve, the responders that went before you, and those that will follow you – thank you for your service and sacrifice that others may live...