Thank a First Responder on June 9

Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien is encouraging people to show their appreciation for emergency services on Thank A First Responder Day – Wednesday 9 June 2021.

Thank a First Responder Day is an initiative of not-for-profit agency Fortem Australia and first responder agencies across Australia, asking people to post messages of thanks on their social media channels using the hashtags #ThankAFirstResponder and #PowerOfThanks, or to host an event in their community.

“First responders including police, firefighters and medical professionals witness the traumatic aftermath of road crashes, accidents, fires and medical episodes every day, and as a former road crash investigator, I know they carry the mental scars of this heartbreaking work with them long after they leave the scene,” Mr O’Brien said.

“As a result, they are at greater risk of mental health conditions and psychological distress than people in other professions, and this can be compounded by the high-pressure and fast-paced nature of their work.

“By showing our gratitude to first responders on June 9, we are showing that we value their work, their courage and their fortitude in turning up to save lives, day after day.”

Mr O’Brien encouraged people in Wide Bay to visit the website http://www.firstresponderday.com.au to discover a range of free resources and ideas on how they could say thanks to first responders.

“Small signs of appreciation go a long way towards helping people feel valued, so whether you host an event, bake some treats for the local fire station or simply put a post on social media to say thank you, it will all help make a difference,” he said.

“We can also honour our first responders by taking care of ourselves and each other, particularly by driving safely and adhering to road rules and conditions every time we get behind the wheel.”