First Responders Saving Lives

First Responders Saving Lives

By Stephen Owsinski

Every first responder —police officer, firefighter, paramedic— has encountered untold numbers of people in dire straits and desperately in need of an intervention. Although these interactions are relatively indelible, some of these saves stick infinitely, with nanoseconds to spare, lives preserved by first responders doing The Job: The proverbial lifeline.

Connecticut State Police Trooper Kyle Kaelberer shared a revelation regarding a lifesaving instance as he sat in his cruiser for a stationary post on an interstate where he was monitoring traffic. Being seen is a huge part of a law enforcement officer’s traffic control repertoire. In this case, being seen was exactly what enabled a distraught young motorist’s life to be salvaged by a young trooper who readily recognized the man’s signs of distress.

Can I Have a Hug?

I am a writer who knows when it is best to have actual sources tell the story —we’ll resume thereafter— so please listen to Trooper Kaelberer explain how he helped save a life on the brink.

Here is footage illustrating how the trooper and burdened military veteran came to be on the side of an expressway:

Talk about “being there,” the one thing that we all wish for from family and friends, in good times and bad, especially during the bad. Per the Connecticut State Police, this roadside interaction transpired on September 11, 2022.

I’ll Give You That Hug

Similarly, a few years ago, a Chandler, Arizona police officer encountered a young man teetering on the edge of a freeway overpass, lowering his body several times, as if to let go and end it all. Enter Chandler Police Officer Aaron Little’s big heart and humanitarian conviction.

Officer Little stayed with the distraught man. He let him know everything would be all right. He catered compassion. He tempered his tone. He parlayed patience. It all paid off! The dividend was one life saved and at least two humans bonding on a bridge.

A core element in this harrowing incident was a simple yet far-reaching humane gesture: A hug. The tacit language of two people connecting and walking/working through tumultuous times, segueing to salvation and a second chance.

Let’s consider how cops out there are lifelines in just about any dire circumstance:

Among many like it, these are a few examples of how America’s law enforcement officers are so crucial amid public and private domains, mitigating predicaments, and simmering dire situations to successful means.

And the cycle continues…despite abolition and defund movements hollering against cops mitigating the hardest-hit lives among us.

Who’ll Stop the Rain?

Law enforcement officers are not meteorologists predicting whether it will rain or shine…but they are out there to aid those whose days may seem gloomy.

It is a year-round aspect of our ever-burdensome society: Folks contemplating taking their life.

According to Psychology Today, “Contrary to popular belief, the suicide rate peaks in the springtime, not the wintertime. This is probably because the rebirth that marks springtime accentuates feelings of hopelessness in those already suffering [from] it. In contrast, around Christmas time most people with suicidal thoughts are offered some degree of protection by the proximity of their relatives and the prospect, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, of ‘things getting better from here’.”

The myth of suicides multiplying around the Christmas season doesn’t mean it abates altogether. My police career experienced this deep sadness every December—the many saved statistic consoles the few losses. All stick. Imagery rears up. I pray.

The human psyche can become so tattered that some see no other way out of the murk.

Our nation’s valiant military veterans who survived foreign soil encounters return home to a seemingly steady course of dredging horrific experiences, unable to shake detritus from the mind.

Connecticut Trooper Kaelberer’s story above is just one testament. The state trooper saying “I’m here with you” invited salvation. The distraught veteran’s response “Can I have a hug?” acknowledged the safe harbor in the policeman’s presence.


Besides a litany of bad drivers, cops patrolling highways and byways come upon downtrodden pedestrians trekking roads to places for sustenance —any kind— and peace officers are the most immediate conduit to salvation.

Recently, a New Mexico state trooper who, it was shown, ordinarily uplifts citizens in despair by buying them food and drink and providing cash from his own uniform trouser pockets. He didn’t know people’s needs until he stopped and found out their hardships for which he could readily offer resolutions if even a meal to satiate a stranger’s hunger.

“Officer Darian Jarrott, who later fell victim to a tragic incident, selflessly assisted a stranded elderly man on the roadside in Deming, NM. Jarrott not only gave the man a ride but also bought him food from his pocket. Despite his generosity going unnoticed by others, Jarrott continued to embody kindness until the unfortunate event 26 days later when he was attacked and fatally shot during duty.”

Evil is out there. Cops confront it. The price is heavy. And that sticks with police cohorts.

(Image courtesy of 5.0 Mental Health.)

Despite the torrents of human despair in our society, first responders step forward and ideally employ combinations of training, skills of a professional, compassion, and courage under fire.

Such was the demonstration in a post by Good News Correspondent, depicting several firefighters combatting a fully engulfed home when one among the brave first responders fell through the roof, flames licking him so thoroughly that his entire geared-up figure was indistinguishable in the orange heat of the moment.

Two other firefighters swiftly clung and yanked their colleague from the clutch of a rabbit hole ordeal, with intense flames testing fire-retardant garb, a save in the nick of time…that no one will ever forget.   

In all of this, there is a constant: someone’s life was in jeopardy, a first responder heeded the call, and lives were bittersweetly impacted, immutably so.