I was fortunate enough to participate in the training exercises for first responders the week of July 9. It saddens me to see some of the negative comments regarding these exercises. A lot of these people gave up their days off to do this. That shows me they really care about their communities.
The gear they had on was not cool. It was very hot but they all hung in there and did a tremendous job. We all hope and pray that there will never be a need for this in real life. But, as a very popular vacation area, anything can happen. I feel much better knowing that I and my property will be better protected if there is a need. These agencies should have more money for their training.
My thinking of these responders has greatly changed. I have so much more respect for them now. I really appreciate the different agencies that took the time to allow these people to train. As a volunteer, everything was explained in plain English, and Matt Smith made sure that as a group we all understood what was going to happen in the training and also what can happen in real life. Plus all of these people asked all of us numerous times if we were OK. They were more concerned about our well being in a training exercise than they were about themselves. I know I will rest much better if they are ever needed in a real situation.
The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.