“In This Family, No One Fights Alone”

The recent mass shootings and attacks against Americans of late – going all the way back to last year in San Bernandino, CA where an Islamic radicalist opened fire at an office Christmas Party, killing 14 people – and culminating last week with the senseless, ambush-style murder of five Dallas police officers, and then this week three more officers had to die in Baton Rouge (another ambush-style killing). These acts have left a majority of those that work in public safety reeling.

Heated, inflammatory rhetoric from several ideological groups such as “Black Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” and “All Lives Matter” have brought this nation to a boiling point, where simple words of protest are now being heard as major calls to action.

When did it become ok to kill our law enforcement officers? Credible threats against the safety of EMS and FD personnel have come across the desks of shift commanders nationwide. Why? Because we honor our brotherhood with our LEOs. So more SOPs are out making sure that we apply cautious effort to check and triple check our equipment several times a day. We have always locked the rig on scene or at a facility, but now we have become hyperconscious about it. Some paramedics have begun to wear tactical armor (vests) underneath their duty gear.

Is this where we are in 2016 – having to fear for our lives simply by showing up to do the job we all love, everyday and without hesitation? The FD and EMS response to the war on their law enforcement brothers and sisters was overwhelming. Around here, in Tampa Bay, FL, prominent signs started appearing in fire stations all over many counties, offering a safe place for PD to come in, park their cruiser, relax, finish their reports, whatever they need.

LogosOn CNN, I see that it has become a national trend, sort of a “Safe Place for Cops” grassroots movement. EMS stations have offered similar things, like leaving bay doors open for PD to pull up into a safe place and know that an entire crew is standing guard behind them. People in private homes are starting to follow suit, putting up signs and offering meals, coffee, comfort, and, above all, safety – safety to relax and get caught up on the night’s reports.

When you put on that uniform at the start of your shift, be it badge and gun, turnout gear, or EMS six-pockets and a Littman slung over your shoulders, we are all truly one great family. Our petty, harmless rivalry aside, our entire field has come together in solidarity behind their brotherhood in blue. That’s just the way it is; and the way it always will be.

This week alone, almost every police agency in my local tri-county area (and there’s a lot of them) have been consistently fed breakfast, lunch and dinner by a seemingly never-ending line of ordinary citizens that want their officers to know that they are loved and appreciated beyond what words can say. And there has been a nonstop presence of small children bringing cupcakes and other sweet treats for their officers. And you only have to scroll through the national news to see that it is happening everywhere. There are still good people left in this world.

“Thin Blue Line” decals on cars, skateboards, even motorized wheelchairs have shown up out of nowhere. And lately, everywhere I go, I see the phrase “I’ve got your six” on tee-shirts, black on blue bracelets, all over Facebook, stickers on cars, even patches on uniforms. The phrase basically means “I’ve got your back.” It comes from the old pilot system in which directions correspond to hours on the clock, where 12 o’clock is forward and 6 o’clock is behind. Thus, anyone behind you is “at your six.”

Good. We need to stand in solidarity, now more than ever. Be safe out there, everyone. And know that we’ve got your six.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Leah Dallaire

Leah Dallaire

Leah G. Dallaire is a highly accomplished freelance writer, editor and consultant with 28 years of experience. She has also concurrently been a paramedic for 20 years; the last 17 she spent serving the citizens of Pinellas County, Florida, which has a call volume of about 209,000 runs per year. She holds an M.A. and a B.A. in Writing & Literature from Union University. She has also just finished her first novel.
Leah Dallaire
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