Home / Bottom Line / Bottomline: Preparing for And Responding to Tragedy
heimlich-maneuver-1.jpg.838x0_q67_crop-smart-1

Bottomline: Preparing for And Responding to Tragedy

Publishers Commentary by Wallace J. Allen

Some believe that we are defined not by the tragedies of life, but how we respond to them.  Tragedy is most often rendered quickly; however, its echo is multi-level and infinite to those directly and indirectly affected.  The response to tragedy is variable. It can range from numbness to heroic!

The beauty of living in San Bernardino Valley, ‘Beneath The Arrowhead’, is often challenged by the ugliness of tragedy… Steel Mill and Air Base Closing killing 20,000 jobs and uprooting families… fires destroying homes and businesses… City bankruptcy, terrorism and most recently, the school shooting!

The shooting at North Park Elementary School leaves a teacher and one of her students dead, another student wounded and a classroom of students traumatized for life based on what they directly witnessed.

The joy of the parents, who found that their children were not the shooting victims, was immediately replaced with pain, empathy and sympathy for the victims and their families.

The response from police agencies was only matched by the quick reaction of religious and community leaders, who quickly descended on the scene of the shooting, and dispersed with parents to CSUSB, and with students to Cajon High School where they were reunited with their parents.

The best medical and social resources for physical and mental recovery are available in the Inland Empire. The prospects for a family recovering from untimely and tragic death are very slim and we pray that it occurs. Our prospects of preventing or avoiding future tragedies, is even slimmer! Tragedy is going to occur. We must be prepared for it.

Our natural response is to sooth the pain, as best we can… I am suggesting that we improve our level of “best we can” to help in an emergency. Tragedies and emergencies are predictably unpredictable! We are all potential “first responders”! More critically, we are all subject to needing a “first responder”! I need for you to know how to help me just as you need me to know how to help you!

I am proposing that we, the residents, business owners, and visitors to the City of San Bernardino, take the leadership position in emergency preparedness! Our access to life in one of the most beautiful places on the planet demands that we meet the challenge to stay here! If not for the regular unexpected catastrophe, surely for the expected!  We know that we shall have an earthquake and that it will be inconvenient and unpredictable, but it will not be unexpected… So we should not be unprepared.

Becoming a certified emergency response team member is a highly-trained status that we all should aspire, but for practical reasons, cannot. But, becoming certified in CPR is attainable, and is one of the most important tools of a first responder.

I propose that we organize ourselves to reject the nation’s exposure to our tragedy as the symbol and image of our being… That we organize ourselves to demonstrate our resilience and determination to define and achieve the All-American Lifestyle that represents the beauty of “Living Beneath the Arrowhead” in beautiful San Bernardino Valley.

Our proposed campaign to learn CPR, though symbolic, is a very practical asset. CPR has value at home, work and play, in private and public places. Our campaign describes our passion and compassion for each other, as well as our arrogant love of life beneath the Arrowhead.

Will you join our campaign to learn and teach CPR?

About Wallace J. Allen