Celebrating our local heroes on First Responders Day

Today is First Responders Day, and in the pages of the Southeast Missourian you'll find several stories and photos celebrating the important and heroic work of our local professionals.

The term "first responders" often invokes thoughts of police and firefighters -- which it certainly should. These individuals work in two of the most demanding fields, putting their personal safety on the line to keep us all safe. Locally we are blessed with some tremendous professionals in these areas. But the category also includes a range of other individuals, from paramedics and EMTs to those with specialized medical training to emergency dispatchers as well as air and water evacuation professionals.

These individuals don't serve because of high compensation or prestige. There are other careers where they could make more money for much less stress and an easier life. But they serve nonetheless, and our communities are better because of it.

To those who serve on the frontlines, we say thank you.