Regional Health honors first responders

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Regional Health hosted its second First Responder Appreciation Event Saturday morning at Memorial Park.

The event was open to the public, and attendees were able to take part in an obstacle course, see a search and rescue demonstration and learn about first responders.

Many area responders, such as police officers, fire fighters, highway patrol and dispatchers, expressed the difficulties of their jobs, but said that helping the community is their passion.

“What it means to me is just knowing that there’s that calm voice on the other end,” said April Olivas, 911 dispatcher. “I like to be that calm voice on the other end of the line, and it’s just knowing you can be there for somebody during their time of need.”

The appreciation event also had a variety of events geared towards children. At one station, kids were able to take care of a teddy bear by putting on bandages and checking it’s vitals. After the examination, each child was able to take their “patient” home with them.

Regional Health hoped to inspire the younger generation to honor the first responders that serve their community.

“Really, our first responders are the first line of defense,” said event organizer Latoya Phillipe, RN at Regional Health. “When they’re meeting [first responders] whether it’s in the field or bringing them to the hospital, we really are one big family and we work well together and we need to be able to work as a team to take care of our community.”

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