Saturday, October 28, 2017

Ashland County, Ohio: First responders honored at Crestview football game



ASHLAND - Paramedics, firefighters and police officers stood along the sidelines as the Life Flight helicopter landed Friday on the football field at Crestview High School.

Fortunately, nobody was injured — the emergency personnel were there to be honored.

"The pilot for Life Flight is Matt Keppler, a 2000 graduate of Crestview," the announcer called over the stadium's speakers.

More than 100 first responders from nearly every local agency stoop by and watched as the chopper rose from the field and disappeared into the night sky.

"This is the very first time we've done something like this," said Tim Kuhn, the school's athletic director.

The program was organized my Dan Mager, the school's football coach. Kuhn said military veterans were recognized during a home game two weeks before.

"It's something that's very important to us, as a football team and a school district, to have individuals in the community and the surrounding area who are very important," Kuhn said.

Once the helicopter was gone, the announcer beckoned the first responders to the center of the field.

"Last year, more than 50,000 police officers were assaulted," the announcer said.
More than 100 first responders were honored FridayBuy Photo

More than 100 first responders were honored Friday at the Crestview High School football game. (Photo: Zach Tuggle/Telegraph-Forum)

He went on to explain that 185 police and fire personnel have been killed nationwide since the start of 2017,

"We will be releasing 109 blue balloons and 76 red balloons to honor those great Americans who have lost their lives while protecting us," the announcer said.

As the players rushed onto the field, the first responders walked to the sideline, their moment in the spotlight quickly over.

Being publicly thanked for her service is something that almost never happens, said Christy Keith, who is both an EMT for Franklin Township and a graduate of Crestview.

"This is the first time."

She's been an EMT for 17 years. She was glad that the first time she was part of a recognition for first responders was at her former high school.

"It's neat to come back," Keith said. "I was surprised at how many people were here."

And even though public thank-yous don't come often, Keith knows her work doesn't go unappreciated.

"I think, as a whole, this community is very responsive," she said. "For the most part, everyone is."

Original article ➤ http://www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com

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