Today, Oct. 28, is National First Responders Day. This day honors the heroic men and women who run towards danger every day to help their fellow citizen. Our police, paramedics, and firefighters always deserve our gratitude and respect, but their response to disasters in 2020 calls for loud and proud support from all Americans on this (and every) day.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic at the beginning of this year hit our first responders particularly hard. Paramedics, nurses, and doctors came face-to-face with the deadly disease, but worked endless hours, often not going home to their families, to treat patients and save lives.
This year continues to experience an active hurricane season, with 27 named storms just in the Atlantic so far. Each of these storms that hit the U.S. require preparation and response to flooding and high winds, such as search and rescue operations by first responders.
Our nation’s firefighters have been tested with historic wildfires in California and other western states. In 2020, more than 46 thousand wildfires have burned over 8.5 million acres. That is 2.2 million acres more than the 10-year average. City firefighters have also been called to duty this year around the country to extinguish the many fires started by rioters and looters in response to the nearly nightly, organized violence by Antifa and Black Lives Matter.
Police officers particularly deserve our support and gratitude this year as they face daily dangerous attacks on their lives and their livelihoods from rioters and politicians at all levels. This war against the police, including efforts to defund and hamstring police operations, is resulting in large increases in police resignations and retirements across the country. That predictably results in increased crime in cities throughout the U.S.
Above all, Americans want to be safe. Our first responders protect us from harm every day. But now they are in danger and we need to support and protect them—not just on this National First Responders Day, but every day.