First on the Scene: The emotional toll - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

First on the Scene: The emotional toll


Wrecks, fires, and natural disaster are only a few of the traumatizing incidents first responders encounter. They put their lives on the line day after day answering calls where they never know what to expect.

"Sometimes there is things we wish we had never seen and there is plenty of things I have seen that I wish I would never see again, but at the end of the day, I know it's going to happen," said first responder Brandon Lee.

But that doesn't make it any easier, especially when a loved one comes to mind.

"When you have to work on a child and you have children, it really hits home of how the world really works," said Lee.

Throughout their line of work, they encounter many different and difficult tasks.

"That is one of the hardest things, is to either have to tell a family member that their loved one has passed or just seeing their reaction to knowing their family member is gone, that is tough to watch," said Lee.

First responders see tragedy daily and hope it never happens to them.

"I worked part time at AAA Ambulance Service for a while and I had actually swapped out a shift with a guy, and my best friend was killed that day in an accident in Petal, and the truck that I was going to be on responded," said Lee. "That really puts a lot on you because I don't know how I would have handled it had I had to go up there for my best friend," said Lee.

Responders deal with the stress and emotions of the job separately or as a group, walking a fine line of the call to service.

"Sometimes just sitting down by yourself and mentally sorting things out to where you understand sometimes that regardless of what you were doing that sometimes, you just can't work fast enough," said Lee. "If you can't differentiate that on your own, you'll never make it in this line of business, that you know, some people you just can't help," said Lee.

There are only a select few who step up to the challenge to become first responders and generally the basis of what they do is helping people throughout communities.

"That's a line that you have to be able to draw and understand, that you can't save everybody," said Lee. "That this is what we do, if we didn't do it, nobody else would."


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