First on the Scene: The emotional toll

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Wrecks, fires, and natural disaster are only a few of thetraumatizing incidents first responders encounter. They put their lives on theline day after day answering calls where they never know what to expect.

"Sometimes there is things we wish we had never seen and there isplenty of things I have seen that I wish I would never see again, but at theend 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 onecomes to mind.

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

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

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

First responders see tragedy daily and hope it never happens tothem.

"I worked part time at AAA Ambulance Service for a while and I hadactually swapped out a shift with a guy, and my best friend was killed that dayin 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 havehandled it had I had to go up there for my best friend," said Lee.

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

"Sometimes just sitting down by yourself and mentally sortingthings out to where you understand sometimes that regardless of what you weredoing that sometimes, you just can't work fast enough," said Lee. "If you can'tdifferentiate 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 becomefirst responders and generally the basis of what they do is helping peoplethroughout communities.

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