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The Spirit of a First Responder

In times of chaos and calm, first responders are heroes who keep our communities safe and protected from harm every day. Being a first responder takes a special kind of person. Here are the characteristics we see in the EMTs, paramedics, firefighters and police officers that we have the honor of educating.

They are willing to help. Individuals who hold a volunteer spirit wake up every day to help others. They work long, hard hours but they never complain because they see the ultimate good in their work. Whether they are on or off the clock, they cannot pass a dire situation and not offer assistance. They seek to make our communities and the world a better place.

They are committed to health. Whether they are hauling 100 pounds of gear into a burning building, pulling individuals to safety in a shootout or doing chest compressions to save a life, first responders have to be ready for everything, physically and mentally. Instead of just hitting the gym for their own personal gain, first responders know that they need to stay in tiptop shape for themselves and the people they serve. They know that having the flu could cause their department to be one man down and that is not the kind of risk they want to take.

They are flexible and adaptable. During wildfires, firefighters may work for hours and sleep on the side of the road in between shifts. Emergency medical service professionals must be ready to act quickly no matter what their calls may bring. They cannot control circumstances, but they must roll with the punches to offer safety with the resources that they are given. That’s why first responders are flexible and aim to provide the best of their services, no matter the situation.

They are eager to learn. First responders must stay aware of the newest techniques and technologies to stay relevant in their field. This valuable information can save time and save lives when it counts. First responders network with others in their industries, enroll in continuing education courses and earn secondary degrees to advance within their departments. First responders hope to stay on the cutting edge of their field to help their communities.

They are self-sacrificing. Every day, first responders put their lives on the line for our communities. They sacrifice time with their families and the traditional hours of a 9-to-5 job to protect our citizens. They put themselves in the line of fire (sometimes literally) for their neighbors, and many times, for people they barely know. First responders are never self-centered and put others before themselves.

First responders are the backbones of our communities and we are honored to serve them every day through education.

About Columbia Southern University

One of the nation’s pioneer online universities, Columbia Southern University was established in 1993 to provide an alternative to the traditional university experience. CSU offers online associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees such as business administration, criminal justice, fire administration and occupational safety and health. Visit or call (877) 347-6050 to learn more.