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So many selflessly there when it’s needed
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So many selflessly there when it’s needed

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A rose to ... the hundreds of professionals in the Kearney area who will be giving up their holiday time to serve their community. They are the “front liners,” as we now label people who risk their own well-being to ensure critical services are available to the people who need them. As Christmas and the New Year approach, we are reminded about the selflessness of these very special people.

They give up holidays for the welfare of others.

They include health professionals across the entire spectrum of care who work long hours under stress trying to save lives. The COVID pandemic has made their work especially dangerous, but they soldier on regardless of the risks.

The same can be said of the law enforcement professionals and first responders. They stand ready 24/7 to answer the call whenever it comes: an addict’s overdose, a family dispute, car crash or other emergencies. It’s difficult dealing with others’ problems and emergencies, but law officers and first responders always are ready, especially when doing so puts them in danger.

Speaking of danger, tow truck drivers encounter it each time they’re called out. There’s the risk of being struck by motorists passing emergency scenes, or from being seriously injured while preparing crashed vehicles to be towed. People may not realize it, but some crash barriers designed to absorb the energy of a vehicle crashing into them can be extremely dangerous. Tow truck drivers are trained to safely release that stored energy. If they don’t safely release the energy, the strain that’s put on cables or other components of a crash barrier can be lethal.

A raspberry to ... drunken and impaired drivers. All too often they fool themselves into believing they’ll never cause anyone harm, but they are sorely mistaken.

According to safety statistics, fatality accidents occur at a rapid rate. In 2019, there were 10,142 alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities in the U.S.

That means that every 52 minutes one person was killed in a drunk-driving crash.

It’s unacceptable that even one American loses their life because of impaired driving, but how tragic it is that someone dies every 52 minutes. Here’s another fact to wrap your mind around. The most dangerous time on the road is 9 p.m. That’s when almost one-third of vehicles on the highway are being driven by someone who is under the influence.

We appreciate that law enforcement agencies work so hard to discourage drunk and impaired driving. During the holidays when drunk and impaired driving is more prevalent, there are law officers patrolling, trying to arrest drunk drivers before they cause a tragedy.

We all can be part of the answer to this horrible problem.

Always drive sober, and tell your friends and family to do the same.

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