Normal people are there first.

What am I talking about? In the aftermath of every emergency, such as today's murderer-driver attack in Toronto, there is a parade of politicians on TV. Right after the condolences comes the obligatory and effusive praise of the police / ambulance / fire services that came on scene. In the last decade or so, the phrase "first responder" seems to have been invented as a term of honour for these people. And yes, they can do important, difficult, occasionally dangerous or terrible work.

But the term "first responder" is a lie. When tragedy strikes in a populous location, normal people are there first. They were already there. Within seconds of an accident or incident, ordinary citizens get involved. Whether it's someone doing first aid or driving to a hospital, getting in a car and chasing down a suspect, engaging an armed attacker with counter-fire with their own firearm, dragging someone out of a burning car, or just starting to direct traffic ... within seconds, normal people will engage. First.

Some time later, hopefully quickly, the heralded government professionals will arrive and take charge of the emergency. That does not make them "first responders". They are simply the first of that small minority of the population known as "government" whom we are forced to employ. But other than in a prison, they are not everywhere, cannot be everywhere, and this is a good thing.

Therefore, you, the normal person reading this, should prepare yourself for an eventuality where YOU are the real first responder. Learn first aid. Learn self defence. Learn to always monitor your surroundings in Jeff Cooper's "condition yellow". Learn anything you can, so that you can be self-sufficient. Sure, you may not get much recognition from the media and government, but they don't matter anyway. A resilient populace is many times more powerful.

Posted Mon Apr 23 23:04:02 2018