When all of us are in trouble, we reach out for help and we dial 911.
Without hesitation the first responders are there. It could be a domestic violence call, where a number of Police Officers around the country are killed. The abuse can be a assault case, a person with a gun, a fire, or someone may have just had a heart attack or a stroke and needs immediate EMS treatment before being transported to the hospital.
The First responders are there.
But do we ever stop to think about the fact that while first responders are saving the world, who is saving their children? Is there a back-up system for first responder children. Their kids have to live with the fact daily that mommy or daddy could leave for work one day, and never come back home alive. Of course in some cases the First Responders are married, and they leave a family behind. In some cases, the first responders are single parents, and the kids must go with a loved one.
There is one wonderful group that is stepping up tremendously to help First Responders and their children with grants to go to school, counseling services, and even helping the families in the event of death of the First Responder. It’s called the First Responders Children’s Foundation, based out of New York, but operating in six states.
Dominic Carter recently spoke with the lovely President and CEO Jillian Crane of the First Responders Children’s Foundation on his WABC Radio show in New York.
“You are doing wonderful work. And it seems to me…that at times, society forgets that First Responders have families, and First Responders have children. Explain to me what exactly is the First Responders Children’s Foundation.” Dominic Carter
“I think you are 100% right about that. And I think COVID and all the aftermath of that really taught people how much we rely on the first responders in our local communities, and that they have children and families who they often leave at home, to go run into danger for the people in their communities. And that is exactly what the foundation is supporting. And I’ll just tell you, we started 21 years ago now, as a response to the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11 2001, where the children were left behind. So 800 children lost the first responder parents on that day. And that was the impetus for this foundation, which has then gone on to grow into a National Foundation, where we have programs and support for First Responder families around the country.” Jillian Crane – President and CEO of the First Responders Children’s Foundation.
“It is wonderful what you’re doing each year, approximately, do you know how many first responders die a year?” Dominic Carter
“Unfortunately, yes. So, in the last year, year and a half, there’s almost 500 line of duty deaths, which is including police, fire, EMS. You bring up a good point, we have a program, which is our bereavement program. So every day, unfortunately, as many days of the week,…. we do hear about line of duty deaths around the country. And if they have children, we reach out immediately. And we do support them with a bereavement grant when we can, which is as often as possible.” Jillian Crane – President and CEO of the First Responders Children’s Foundation.
We can never forget our First Responders. As stated on the First Responders Children’s Foundation website:
First responders face everything from pandemics to extreme weather to wildfires, stressful work that can result in financial insecurity, mental health challenges and more. They need our help.
Dominic Carter speaks at Child Advocacy Centers around the country, and before Foster Parent Associations.
You can also listen to Dominic Carter’s podcast titled: Dominic Carter City Hall.