You know they’re available whenever you call, but do you really think about how valuable our first responders are to us?

Fortunately, during budget season, the Hanover County Board of Supervisors acknowledges the value of Hanover Fire-EMS, the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, and Hanover County Emergency Communications. Our public safety departments are, without question, among the best in Virginia.

Last Wednesday, I experience first-hand -- again -- just how important these men and women are when a fall at home led to a call to 9-1-1. The Emergency Communications dispatcher was so kind and compassionate as she gathered the necessary information for the paramedics who would be arriving at my door shortly.

Having been diagnosed with arthritis about five years ago, extreme caution is a routine day. However, sometimes the right knee has other plans. Such was the case on Oct. 30, when that knee decided to collapse, sending me to the floor. (I have a friend who, after asking if I was OK, would start laughing now. We all chuckle at falls.)

Anyway, three paramedics were met at the door by my soon-to-be 89-year-old mother. Their professionalism and care made such an impression that, upon their departure, I immediately called Battalion Chief Gregory R. Martin, who serves as public information officer for Chief Jethro Piland III. I asked Greg to convey my thanks and appreciation to the chief, who, coincidentally, was standing nearby when I called.

I was one of the lucky ones in that there wasn’t a significant injury, but considered myself blessed to receive such concentrated attention.

Despite two swollen knees and some soreness in my arms, I managed to get to work and thought about the many positives we have to live in Hanover County.

While no one has a goal of needing the services of Fire-EMS, it certainly is a blessing to know the crews are a phone call away.

This is one resident who is sincerely grateful for the assistance provided last week.

So, thank those with public safety when you see them -- because you never know when you will need them.

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