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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

#EverySecondCounts for First Responders

by U.S. Senator John Boozman: Communities throughout Arkansas and across the country are filled with unsung heroes. High at the top of that list would be the first responders and public safety community, the men and women who show up to help in times of crisis and serve their families, friends and neighbors at a moment’s notice.

I am excited to announce that I’ll be highlighting the work of first responders all over the state during my upcoming “Every Second Counts” Tour from October 24th-27th. This will be a wonderful opportunity to meet with law enforcement, firefighters, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and other first responders to thank them, show them our support and discuss issues important to them. I’m eager to listen to these public servants and learn more about the issues they are facing, as well as offer ways to help.

Certainly, high up on that list is the struggle to counter the ongoing opioid epidemic that is exploding in our nation. Unfortunately, Arkansas is not immune to this problem. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data shows that it’s one of 12 states with more painkiller prescriptions than people.

Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the country. The availability of prescription painkillers is a leading factor in the increase of opioid abuse. Since 1999, opioid overdose deaths have quadrupled nationwide.

That’s why I supported a bill that was signed into law this summer called the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). This comprehensive response to fighting this epidemic gives hope to families with loved ones struggling with addiction by expanding prevention, education, treatment and recovery efforts.

First responders are on the front lines of this crisis. EMTs and paramedics are called to the scene to treat those who overdose on prescription painkillers. Law enforcement officers are often tasked with responding to incidents surrounding the use or illegal distribution of opioids. While Congress is trying to help by passing laws like CARA, the men and women who serve their communities every day to assist their friends and neighbors who are hurting are the ones who are truly saving lives. A perfect example was on display in Benton recently when officers used Naloxone, a counter agent to opiate prescription drugs and heroin, to save someone from dying from an overdose.

Of course, law enforcement officials, 911 dispatchers, firefighters and EMTs perform countless other roles in our society from responding to emergencies to maintaining public safety and promoting programs and services that help our communities in both big and small ways.

First responders invest so much of their time and efforts into public service. Often, their jobs can feel stressful and thankless. I want to take this opportunity to commend them for their tireless efforts because we need their knowledge and skill sets to help keep our communities safe.

I look forward to spending several days with first responders and public safety officials throughout Arkansas. Hearing directly from these extraordinary heroes and getting the opportunity to thank them and share our support for them in-person is the least we can do.

Please join in with me by using the hashtag #EverySecondCounts on social media to express your gratitude to the men and women who are always ready and willing to respond to a call for help. We owe them that and so much more.
-------------------
Editor's Note: Per Sen. Boozman's staff:
U.S. Senator John Boozman will launch the #EverySecondCounts Tour on Monday (Oct 24th) to promote an appreciation for first responders, whose call to public service keeps us safe.

“First responders answer when we call for help. They are brave individuals who selflessly put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe, while knowing there is no guarantee that they will return home safely. This is a way to show support for these men and women who often go unrecognized but play a vital role in our community. I look forward to meeting with Arkansas first responders and seeing how the federal government can help them continue to provide this essential service,” Boozman said.

The tour will make the following stops in Arkansas between October 24-27:
  • Little Rock Police Department;
  • Saline County 911 Center;
  • Benton Police Department, where Boozman will accept the Arkansas Association of Chiefs of Police Legislator of the Year Award;
  • Nevada County Jail;
  • Magnolia Fire Department;
  • Grant County Office of Emergency Management;
  • North Little Rock Police Department;
  • Cross County Sheriff and Wynne Police Department;
  • Jonesboro Police Department, Fire Department and Emergency Medical Responders;
  • Baxter County Fire and Police Departments
  • Marion County law enforcement officers.

Tags: First Responders, #EverySecondCounts, U.S. Senator, John Boozman, Arkansas, #EverySecondCounts Tour To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 8:00 AM - Post Link

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