On behalf of the IAFC, I want to say to all the first responders, their families and communities: We’re with you. We’re thinking of you. We’re keeping you in our thoughts and prayers, and keeping vigil for the safe recovery of those who are missing, and those who courageously continue to do their job in spite of the emotionally tough situations. We wish to express our condolences to those who have lost family and friends and a wish for a full recovery to those who have been hurt physically or emotionally.
For any first responder who has been on the job for a few years, it is easy for us to think we have seen it all. It seems like the past six months have been dedicated to reminding us how unpredictable and dangerous the world, and our job, can be. This week has been another difficult one for communities around the United States and a difficult one for the men and women in the fire and emergency service.
Every day, and especially when things go very bad, IAFC staff and members continuously monitor and look for ways to actively support response to incidents on the ground. We work with the media to ensure our story of firefighters, paramedics/EMTs and hazmat operators is told accurately and clearly. We focus on highlighting resources and building relationships that may be helpful in response, recovery, and developing policy, planning and training for similar events. But that doesn’t make the job any easier.
While this week is filled with great sadness, it is difficult to not also feel a great pride in our industry and our membership. In addition to the amazing responders on scene, so many of our members from the U.S. have reached out to help those in Boston and Texas, and many more from overseas have reached out to express their concern and support.
I thank each of you for demonstrating the professionalism, courage and compassion that makes our work so remarkable and a beacon to those who need a light in the darkness.
Chief Hank Clemmensen
President and Chairman of the Board