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Recognizing First Responders: A National Day to Celebrate Local Heroes

Posted at 6:03 PM, Oct 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-28 19:03:57-04
  • Oct. 28 is National First Responders Day,.
  • First responders say the role fills them with pride.
  • Video shows first responders with the Green Bay Metro Fire Department sharing their stories of helping the community.

(The following is a transcript of the full broadcast story)

National First Responders Day is recognized on October 28th. I’m Katlyn Holt and I had the chance to speak with a few first responders about their role in the community and the pride that comes with that.

"Helping people and never having the same day," said Vanden Avond

That's what battalion chief, Mike Vanden Avond of the Green Bay Metro Fire Department says inspired him to become a first responder.

Vanden Avond has been a first responder for 22 years and he says there is a responsibility that comes with the role.

"You really make a difference in people's lives, when they're at their worst moments you're showing up and trying to help out the best way that we can," Vanden Avond.

October 28th is National First Responders Day and a chance to thank those who keep local communities safe.

Wesley Pautz a firefighter paramedic with the Green Bay Metro Fire Department says the day provides an opportunity to inspire.

"It kind of puts a spotlight on what we do for our community and also opportunities for the next generation of potential firefighters to show kind of what we do," said Pautz.

Vanden Avond says the job comes with hard days but teaching fire safety to kids is probably the most fun and kids love to show their appreciation for these first responders, based on the artwork at the station.

For both Vanden Avond and Pautz, they say being connected to their community gives them a sense of pride.

"It's really nice to pay respect to the people that are doing this job day in and day out. So, we're very appreciative of our community, and how they help us do the best we can," said Vanden Avond.

According to the First Responder Network Authority there was an estimated 4.6 million first responders working in the United States in 2020. National First Responders Day could be a great opportunity to thank your local first responders for all they do. In Allouez, Katlyn Holt, NBC 26.