The Inside Scoop

Until it happens to you…

By John J. Tassoni, Jr.

We all know the loud, deafening sounds of sirens blaring when a police, fire or rescue vehicle drives by our house or when signaling us to move aside on the road. We generally dismiss the noise within a few seconds.

But when it is you or a loved one that needs their assistance, those sirens are music to your ears.

On Wednesday, Nov. 2 about 8 a.m. and again at 12:30 a.m. on Nov. 7 I had to call 911 because my father was experiencing symptoms of a heart attack. Within mere minutes, the rescue and fire trucks arrived.

The EMTs were courteous, professional and yet very comforting in a dire situation. As I watched them perform their duties of evaluating the situation, treating the immediate needs, and preparing for hospital transport, I thought about the importance of their actions in such situations, and how critical each minute is.

I owe a debt of gratitude to these first responders.

I also want to commend Smithfield’s Police Chief Richard St. Sauveur and Fire Chief Robert Seltzer for their excellent leadership and examples to the first responders. They put on their uniforms each day to serve people they don’t even know in the interest of public safety.

Having witnessed the fine work of these people first hand, I find it quite disturbing that some other local publications in paid advertisements have criticized and degraded these individuals who rush to our aid or put their own lives on the line.

First responders have excellent memories and will not forget a kind word, or a disparaging one. Their critics may think quite differently when they are the ones in need of their assistance.

So, to all of the readers and advertisers of The Smithfield Times magazine, I wish the Happiest of Holidays, and the best of health and well-being in the coming year. May you never need the services of the town’s first responders, but if you do, take comfort in knowing that you will be in good hands!