Monday, September 7, 2015

Back the Blue

To our Granbury and Hood County First Responders:

We know….all too well….that many of you feel like a target right now. You sense that there are people with evil intent targeting you.  And at the same time, you also feel invisible, because so few appear to notice the good you are doing.

Today, we are here to say: You are visible indeed.  Your actions have not gone unnoticed.
And today, we want you to know you are a target for sure.  You have been targeted by us…for love, respect, and value.

To our GPD officers, you are visible on 377.  We see you working accidents during 5:00 traffic when it’s pouring down rain and when its 20 degrees outside.

To our HCSO deputies, don’t think we have failed to notice that you are sometimes first on scene to do CPR as you await the arrival of medics.

Which reminds us that we are blessed by Texas EMS and Pecan EMS. We count on your medical expertise and on your compassion.  And we know all too well that you often leave Garcia’s well before the chile relleno was finished.

And when you work a priority one call, you can be confident that Air Evac or Care Flight are on stand-by, ready to fly a patient to Ft. Worth in a moment’s notice. They land on highways, pastures, and middle school parking lots. Whatever it takes to get a patient flown as quickly and safely as possible.

Don’t think we have forgotten our volunteer fire fighters serving at stations here in the city and all over the county.  Key word is volunteer….these men and women get up in the middle of the night or leave their child’s soccer practice to serve their neighbors. You too are visible to us.

The fire Marshal’s office is working with them.  We don’t think about the Fire Marshal or his deputies until there is a disaster and we are looking for leadership during times of major community disaster or when it’s our home that has been affected by a fire.

Sometimes we think all that our DPS troopers do is run traffic. But that is far from the truth.  When all of the deputies and city officers are tied up, they too make disturbance calls.  We call on them and our Texas Rangers when the worst of the worst has occurred.  And we know they are spending time serving at the Texas border on a weekly basis right now.

And what about BRA Lake Rangers.  They patrol the lake and serve in the parks.  But they also have grievous task of serving drowning victims and their families.

And then in the background, our constables are quietly serving.  Their work is not always visible to us.  But they are doing their part. They are by no means invisible.

There are investigators working for the district attorney or for the county attorney.  We don’t see them as much, but they are not invisible to us. They are serving crime victims of all ages.

We are fortunate to have outstanding dispatchers. They are often the first to hear news of a crisis event and the last ones to know the outcome.  They keep us all going where we need to go.

I have had the opportunity to hang out with our medics more the past two years.  I am learning new vocabulary words from them.  (When I first started as a law enforcement chaplain, I learned some new vocabulary from them too, but I won’t repeat any of those words today.)
One of the phrases I learned is: level 0.  Level 0 means they are depleted.  Every truck is tied up. Every medic is occupied.

I think in recent days our first responders have been at level 0. Depleted emotionally.  Morale depleted. A feeling that there is little, if anything left to give.

I hope today you have been filled as we remind you that you are visible to us. 
And please know…we have targeted you for love, respect, and value.