First responders’ efforts deserve appreciation

First responders have tremendous responsibilities. They are called to emergency situations and tasked with ensuring the welfare of people — whether by protection, removing them from harm’s way, saving or securing their property or administering first aid.

Kyil McCauley’s respect for such a job has grown immensely.

He was not breathing until first responders saved his life.

If they had been unable to do that, he never could have thanked them in person like he did July 20 at Columbus Fire Station 6. That made for a special reunion. First-responders rarely have a chance to interact with someone whose life they saved. And, people don’t always get the opportunity to thank those who saved their lives.

McCauley, 59, suffered a heart attack at his home May 18. Columbus Police Department Sgt. Alyson Rech and Officer Wesley Dodge responded to a 911 call about a person in cardiac arrest, and immediately began administering CPR. They continued for a few minutes until firefighters and a Columbus Regional Hospital ambulance crew arrived, and paramedics used a defibrillator twice to revive McCauley so they could transport him to the hospital.

From there doctors handled McCauley’s care, reviving him once more with a defibrillator and performing surgery to clear six blocked arteries.

The first responders did their jobs and went on to their next tasks. McCauley, however, felt a need to meet those who saved his life and thank them personally.

He exchanged handshakes and hugs, and matched names with faces. The first responders were glad to see a happy result of their efforts — a “win” as Dodge called it.

It was a scene of deep thanks and appreciation for the efforts of first responders — a sentiment that everyone should share for the selfless actions of all emergency responders dedicated to serving and helping others.