Our first responders are heroes everyday, in Ecuador and around the world
By Jan Dynes
Ecuador had an earthquake two weeks ago. Our rescue teams were kept very busy in everyplace affected, although I think here in Cuenca that many citizens also leaped into action and helped as well. This is a country where everyone helps their neighbors. I have seen it in action and been a recipient of so much kindness myself since I moved here to this amazing country.
I know much was written in the news about Ecuador’s earthquake around the world. So, I am not going to repeat what everyone already knows. Yet as I watched our situation unfold in our streets and felt fortunate that although I had felt the hard prolonged shaking, I had seen minimal damage and was okay, my heart went out to those that were not so lucky and their families.
In today’s tragic news, rescue teams from Cuenca and other cities are on the scene in Alausí, searching for survivors and recovering the bodies of those who died in Sunday’s landslide.
My heart is always touched by first responders. My son Damon has been one for well over 20 years. He is the Captain of Highland Rescue District in Golden, Colorado. Recently his department had a heartbreaking loss; when Ben Barron, only 23 years old drowned, while the district held a camping trip for the employees and sadly a fun event for work became a tragedy. Ben was loved by everyone and so very young.
First responders are not just fellow workers, they are family. So, I want to tell you what Ben inspired from his work family. Because it touched my heart and was so personal in memory of their fellow Unsung Hero.
Ben Barron had been a blacksmith and so is my son Damon. The entire department came together with a design that honored their friend Ben. All his interests were brought together in one iron-working sculpture which everyone made a part of. Each feather and leaf represented someone who cared and they were a part of this sculpture created out of loving memories and respect, then forged by my son to completion.
Around the world all first responders are one. They protect the rest of us, they run to save us all, and in a way, I see a connection between this last week’s tribute to a unknown young man in Colorado as a nod to our fabulous first responders here too. Throughout all our unknown heroes runs a common thread. They risk for us and we are so fortunate that they do.
Thank you to all our selfless rescuers for your service. Everyday and everywhere you are there for us all.
Jan Dynes has lived in Ecuador 5 and a half years and is the author of Refraction. She lives above Cuenca in Chiquintad viewing the city with abundant passion. www.jandynes.com