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Yellowstone Hot Springs is honoring first responders this weekend (October 15-17) and next weekend (October 22-24). First Responders soak for FREE at YHS and their family members soak for only $1. We appreciate all the hard work, dedication and risks that first responders take to keep us safe. A big THANK YOU from all of us at YHS!

first responder definitionOfficially, the National First Responders Day is October 28th. However, this has only been “officially” recognized since 2017 (first by Colorado, then nationally in 2019), even though many have been honoring our First Responders for much longer.

Who is a First Responder?

So who is a “First Responder?” There is some disagreement on the technicalities of who qualifies.

Merriam Webster defines it as: a person (such as a police officer or an EMT) who is among those responsible for going immediately to the scene of an accident or emergency to provide assistance.”

In general terms, a First Responder is a member of an emergency service who are first on the scene in an emergency. Typically: Police, EMS, Firefighters.

Brief History of the term “First Responder”

first respondersPresident Lyndon Johnson received a white paper report in 1966 showing that a large cause of death in young people was due to injuries caused by accidents. One of the suggested solutions was to have standardized training for response teams who would help in situations of crises. These “EMS” teams consisting of fireman, police and medics would be called in for emergencies.

In 1969 the first national training for EMS was published. Initially, an EMT and paramedic were considered the same thing. In the early 1970s a group of doctors decided that further training could be provided to help save more lives and the first EMT-P (paramedic) training was born.

Now there were EMT-B and EMT-P training (Basic and Paramedic). An EMT-B program generally provides 120+ hours of training in basic life-saving protocols. An EMT-P often requires as many as 1800 hours of training and is trained in advanced care. They can administer IVs and medication, provide breathing support, EKGs, resuscitate, and many other medical procedures.

Over time, “EMT” has become the common term for anyone with Emergency Medical Technician Basic training. EMT-P are generally referred to as paramedics.

Did you know that all firefighters have at least EMT training, and many are also paramedics? Some police forces also have EMT training, but this varies by state and department.

Modern EMS

first responders firefightersWithin hours of the attacks on September 11th, 2001, thousands of rescue team members made up of firefighters, rescue dogs, police, and volunteers rushed to Ground Zero to hunt through the collapsed buildings for survivors. EMS teams from all over the country combined their efforts in one of our nation’s greatest rescue missions.

Firefighters were first on the scene, arriving just 6 minutes after the World Trade Center’s north tower collapsed. They were already climbing the building trying to rescue trapped people on the tower’s higher floors, when another plane struck. This was the deadliest day in history for U.S. firefighters. 343 firefighters lost their lives that day while trying to rescue Americans trapped in the rubble and collapsing buildings.

Of the over 17,000 people estimated to be in the towers, 87% of them were helped to safety by First Responders.

YHS Thank you to First Responders

Since then, the term First Responder has become a widely accepted designation for police, firefighters and EMS teams who are the first personnel at the scene. To all of you, Yellowstone Hot Springs says THANK YOU! You work hard, put yourself at risk and under stress. You deserve time to relax and unwind. Bring your families and relax in the pools at YHS. Come join us for a soak at YHS the weekends of October 15-17 and 22-24.

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