North End / Waterfront residents, David & Ann, have a son, Colin, who is  a paramedic in California. He reflected on Friday’s terrible tragedy with a perspective they thought others might appreciate.

From: David
To: Colin
Sent: Friday, December 14, 2012

I cannot fathom how paramedics in Newtown are processing all those murdered children…

On Dec 14, 2012, Colin wrote:

Neither can I. That is the kind of thing you hope you never see because it will change you forever. When I feel devastated, a big part of it is feeling helpless, and the solution is finding a way to say something that helps them. Just before I checked my email today I went to the Sandy Hook FD website. They’re all volunteer, which means they have minimal training, work somewhere else for income, and have very little support staff to help. They will have only their families and each other.

I know this is what we responders are here for; to help others without being thanked. But consider, if you are looking for someone to reach out to, sending their agency a card saying thanks for responding, and thanks for being there. Knowing that someone else recognizes how hard it was to walk into that scene means more than anything. You know well they are just people working day jobs who were asked into this and did it without question. Some may have kids in that school while being asked to help others.

I heard there was only one injury. That means the responders watched 26 dead bodies get carried out and had literally NO ONE to direct their services to. That is the most helpless feeling in the world. Literally standing around in an unfolding tragedy where millions of people would help if they could. They join the parents of 20 kids in that they will never forget this or live it down, but few people will ever reach out to them. They will be expected to get back on the rig and go to the next call this evening. Since few will ever point out how extraordinary this day was for them, they will start to believe that themselves.

Yes, it’s a thankless job sometimes, and that’s something we are all OK with; it should be. But at times like this, it shouldn’t be thankless for anyone. I can guarantee that your note, if you wrote one, would be read, passed around, and pinned up on the message board for months. Mine are still there after years. These medics, firefighters and cops are parents of local kids too, and reaching out to them would be helping a stranger on multiple levels. Love ya, C

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Ann adds, “There is something we can do. While we don’t yet know the names of the families of victims, we do know something about who came to their assistance. Here are some addresses for your cards. Thanks for whatever you choose to do.”

  • Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire Department / P.O Box 783 / Sandy Hook, CT 06482
  • Oxford Volunteer Ambulance Corps. / 484 Oxford Rd. / Oxford, CT 06478
  • Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps. / 75 Main St. / Newtown, CT 06470
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