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Saluting those first responders who are fearlessly committed to public safety

Public safety is more than a job. It’s not about a paycheck or even a lifelong, fulfilling career. It is a calling that only some are born with. No matter how often that call comes in—no matter how grueling the shift or how severe the danger—first responders are always there to answer. Yet, when asked about their contributions, typically they’ll downplay them, spouting things like: “Anyone would have done it. I didn’t even think about it. I was just doing my duty.”

The truth is that doing something courageous is a choice, and not one that everyone in a crisis situation would make. When someone in front of you is in need, and everything you love is behind you—your family, your friends, your life—choosing to move forward, to step into the line of fire, takes enormous sacrifice. For most, it goes against instinct to jump into danger.

As a society, we are forever indebted to all the untold good that first responders do, and to honour those who have relentlessly shown their commitment, Motorola Solutions is sharing their stories in a series entitled, “Duty Runs Deep.” From entering burning buildings and raging flood waters, to facing off with armed assailants, their stories are varied yet bound by a common thread. That rare, relentless willingness to sacrifice everything in order to serve and protect, and to fulfill an oath of duty.  Here is an example of one of those stories.

South Carolina, October 2016: The 1,000 Year Flood  

During four days of unprecedented rainfall that wreaked havoc on communities—the worst flood in 1,000 years—many lives were lost and $12 billion in damage was incurred.  Countless first responders worked valiantly throughout the emergency to help minimize the effects of the floods and answer the desperate calls of citizens despite the lost roadways and collapsed bridges, the mass destruction that made getting around and communicating a challenge. Houses were destroyed, cars were swept away.

One state trooper heard the cries of three people trapped in a partially submerged vehicle. With no time to spare and no time to wait for the arrival fire department, he removed his equipment and jumped into the fast-moving flood waters to attempt to free the individuals himself. One by one the officer struggled to evacuate them, saving all three lives from drowning in the dangerous waters, including a two-year old girl. For his extraordinary feat of bravery and sacrifice, Gabriel M. Colbert was named the 2015 South Carolina State Highway Patrol Trooper of the Year.

For more stories of first responders’ enormous courage and sacrifice, be sure to visit Motorola Solutions’ “Duty Runs Deep” page, and watch the video posted here.


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