Unionized first responders received widespread praise for their valor and tireless professionalism in the wake of the two explosions that rocked the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
From local and national elected officials, people who suffered through the experience, print reporters to television commentators, the verdict was unanimous. As Boston Fire Fighters Local 718 President Richard Parris stated, “I have never been prouder to be a member of the Boston Fire Department. This historic tragedy brought out the best in all of us, as service men and women and as human beings.”
As of this writing, the incident has left three dead and more than 170 injured, some gravely. But if it weren’t for the unionized police officers who helped direct the crowds in an orderly manner, the nurses, doctors and emergency medical technicians who were on hand to give timely help, the transit workers who did their jobs under difficult circumstances and to the fire fighters who responded on the scene and with trucks and ambulances, the situation would have been far worse.
A saving grace to the horrible incident was that, as is often the case with marathons, medical tents had been set up throughout the route to ensure that the marathon would proceed smoothly. This precaution and the fact that Boston has numerous medical facilities made a difference in that those injured could be treated immediately.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with those injured at the Boston Marathon and the people in Boston,” declared IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger. “We are thankful for our members and other brave first responders helping those in need.”
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka observed: “We condemn those who carried out these acts and practice such hatred. Many questions remain, but such tragedies remind us of the fragility of life, but also the ability for our communities to come together and heal. We commend all the first responders who time and time again risk their lives and run towards chaos to attend to the injured and comfort those in need.”
The MTD joins with the rest of the Labor Movement and the country in mourning those lost and injured by this cowardly act, while saluting all the brave people who unselfishly ran toward danger to assist others.