When duty calls

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - COMMENT -

roads.

WHILE most

of

us are look­ing for­ward to a break af­ter a long and busy year, there are many peo­ple who are gear­ing up to deal with the fall­out of par­ties, cel­e­bra­tions, and hol­i­day care­less­ness.

Think of the am­bu­lance peo­ple whose job it is to go out to yet an­other ter­ri­ble ac­ci­dent on the N1 hell-run, the peo­ple who had to pick up the torn and bro­ken bod­ies of four mem­bers of a Philippi fam­ily who were killed be­tween Laings­burg and Beau­fort West early yes­ter­day.

Think of the hun­dreds of po­lice and traf­fic po- lice who man road­blocks on the prov­ince’s roads at night, of­ten in cold, gale-force winds, in a bid to take the drunk, the reck­less and the in­ca­pable off the

Think of the doc­tors and nurses who work long hours at this time to try to put peo­ple back to­gether, to pro­vide emer­gency surgery for ter­ri­ble head wounds, the med­i­cal per­son­nel who try to save the lives of small chil­dren who have smashed into wind­screens and gear­sticks be­cause their par­ents did not clip them into car seats.

Think of the NSRI vol­un­teers who are pre­pared to risk their lives in howl­ing gales and heav­ing seas to res­cue recre­ational fish­er­men and boat­men who have been caught short, of­ten as a re­sult of their own care­less­ness. Think of the moun­tain search and res­cue peo­ple who are on standby to go up the moun­tain, of­ten in the dark, to find hik­ers who have fallen or lost their way.

Think of the fire­men who have to face a blaz­ing moun­tain af­ter some­one has ca­su­ally tossed a

burn­ing stom­pie out of a car win­dow, of the heli- copter pi­lots who fly into clouds of smoke to douse fires, the life­savers who swim out into wild waves to res­cue a swim­mer in dif­fi­culty.

Gen­uine, un­fore­seen ac­ci­dents do hap­pen, but much of the may­hem at this time of year is due to our own care­less­ness. Let’s give our emer­gency ser­vices a great Christ­mas present and do all we can to keep our­selves and those around us safe these hol­i­days.

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