First responders are recognized for their heroic efforts

LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI)- First responders work tirelessly to keep our communities safe. While we’re familiar with police, firefighters, and EMTs, others are behind the scenes making sure they get to where they’re needed.

Nationwide, the men and women who protect and serve are recognized for their heroic efforts this week.

When you pick up the phone to call for help, someone dispatches within seconds.

Across the country, there is a shortage of workers to take and answer those calls.

” They get that call, and they have to leave their families not knowing if they’re coming back,” said Cindy Lawrence, the Emergency Management Agency Director of Lowndes County.

Law enforcement officers, firemen, and medical professionals are the people who answer the call to help keep our communities safe.

” Stop and look at your first responders who are just down the road from you. Whether it’s a tree across the road, a house fire, a missing person, or a car accident, our first responders are the first on the scene.

As others are running from the scene, you’re going to see our first responders going to protect the lives of the citizens here in Lowndes County.”

Emergency Management Director Cindy Lawrence said responders work around the clock to assist those in need. But her department needs some help finding people to get them there.

A shortage in dispatchers means department heads have to act as 911 operators to man the phones in an emergency.

” We want to make sure there are no gaps when people call and when assistance. We want to be there ready to respond when the call comes in,” said Lawrence.

Over in Clay County, staffing numbers are low too.

” Nationwide, the application for law enforcement jobs are down 60% the last time that I saw. It’s hard to recruit. It’s just hard finding individuals now. The low pay, the long hours, all that stuff goes with it.
This job is not as attractive. It’s just one of those things you have to want to do. For our correctional officers, we have three openings. Every sheriff I’ve talked to that has a jail is having the same problem to keep and maintain,” said Clay County Sheriff Eddie Scott.

That’s why both counties are working to recruit and train more people.

” Once you complete training and go into the pool to meet with the other responders. We’re looking for dedicated, committed people who are really interested in the community,” said Cindy Lawrence.

” I’m proud of the hard work, and we’re going to keep our community safe. Deputies need that type of commitment to stand up and do what needs to be done,” said Scott.

For information on how you can be recruited to a department call your local emergency management office.

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