First, health care workers selflessly helping those who are suffering, you are my heroes. Rightfully, we thank truckers, grocery workers, farmers, police and so many others. No mention, though, of 911 operators. Without us, no one would get needed help. We never stop working, day or night, and we answer the call — 24/7 every day of the year. We aren’t the only profession ignored by the media, but with all the TV specials, commercials, articles and other praise for essential workers everywhere, 911 operators see nothing.
Unsung heroes? It’s time someone starts singing — singing praises to the men and women who talk to you on your worst day. Operators who take the calls about your injured baby, your father in cardiac arrest, your house and all its memories burning to the ground, your panic as unknown footsteps are heard downstairs, your teenager involved in that first auto accident. We pass the information to the dispatcher and seldom know the outcome. Think about that! The anguish of never having closure and carrying that cumulative stress for years.
I’ve worked with some incredible people over my decades with the Nassau County Police Department, and 911 operators nationwide deserve to be finally noticed.
Heed warnings of the next global threat
We are living through a deadly coronavirus pandemic with most of the world affected. Many countries, including ours, were unprepared for this attack, and the virus spread rapidly, killing tens of thousands. Tens of millions have lost jobs, and the economy is in a tailspin. Although staying home, wearing face masks and social distancing are helping control this lethal disease, it may be at least a year before we fully recover.
However, we must be reminded that another threat is stealthily approaching. It is our gradual and slowly changing climate. Each year, average temperatures increase, sea levels rise and storms intensify. Although we will recover from our current crisis, the world is approaching the point of no return on the irreversible effect of global warming.
It is not a new virus that a vaccine or social distancing can prevent or cure. We received early warnings of COVID-19 and ignored them. Let’s not repeat that for the next global threat — climate change.