Who Are First Responders?

This month is the 20th anniversary of the horrible terrorist attacks that occurred in our nation on September 11, 2001. In honor of 9/11 and the first responders who worked tirelessly to save lives and reunite families with their loved ones in the wake of the attacks, we want to share a brief overview of the different types of first responders and their roles.

Who are first responders? They are law enforcement officers, firefighters, paramedics, and EMTs. They are the first people to arrive on the scene when a tragedy happens. They are our first line of defense against evil and violence. Here is our guide to understanding the roles of different first responders in America.

Who Are First Responders?

Law Enforcement Officers

When police are called onto the scene of an emergency, their role is twofold. They are there to provide aid to anyone who has been injured until medical services arrive, and they also work to restore peace and order. This can mean anything from calming down a panicked crowd to apprehending a perpetrator before they can cause more harm.


It might be common knowledge that firefighters use their specialized training to put out fires and protect property on the scene of a disaster. But they also frequently rescue citizens from scenes of destruction, offer CPR and basic first aid, and partner with police officers to restore peace.

Paramedics and EMTs

While police officers are eliminating a threat and firefighters are rescuing those in distress and preventing further destructions, paramedics and EMTs are proving emergency medical care. They are dispatched to the scene of an emergency via ambulance, and they will provide on-site medical care as needed when they arrive. They are also responsible for transporting injured people to hospitals so they can receive further care.

How to Thank First Responders

There is no question that first responders have some of the most difficult jobs in the world. If you know any first responders, you’ve been served by first responders personally, or even if you just want to tell the first responders serving your community “thank you,” here are a few ideas.

  • Write a handwritten note.
  • Send gift cards or food via delivery service.
  • Donate to a nonprofit organization that supports first responders or their families.
  • Thank them on social media. Spread a positive message about the first responders in your community.
  • Follow safety guidelines to demonstrate respect.

C.O.P.S. Arizona is dedicated to rebuilding shattered lives of survivors and co-workers affected by line of duty deaths. We offer programs and scholarships for survivors in our local Arizona chapter. For more information, visit https://www.copsarizona.org/.

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