Every single day in this country, emergency services personnel put their lives on the line to help others.
Whether they are police officers, paramedics, firefighters or emergency volunteers, these are people who face difficult conditions for little in the way of personal gain.
There are long hours of shift work and difficult situations that many of us would rather walk away from than face.
In the course of an ordinary day, we probably don’t think too much about these first responders.
Passing a police car on the road might prompt a quick check of your speedo, or the sound of an ambulance siren may cause a flash of sympathy for the family being affected by illness or accident, but that’s probably about it.
But that changes we need them. When the unexpected hits us and a crisis unfolds, it is the police, paramedics and firefighters who come to the fore.
In our darkest hour, these people – in all likelihood strangers to us – are there to help.
As we go into the festive season, the biggest gift we could give to these personnel is a quiet Christmas.
An emergency situation is heartbreaking at any time, but it seems to resonate even more at this time of the year.
Perhaps it is because so many of us consider Christmas to be a time for family, that a serious death or injury feels exceptionally hard to accept.
Despite the hard work, year after year, by authorities to bring down the road toll, we are still a long way from zero.
All it takes for tragedy to unfold is a moment’s distraction or carelessness.
Currently the NSW road toll stands at 333. That’s down by 20 on the same period last year.
While the drop in number is welcome, that’s still 333 people who have lost their lives and hundreds more family members left devastated.
So this Christmas, let’s all heed the advice and take care on our roads. Let’s all stay safe not only for ourselves and our loved ones, but for all those emergency personnel who have to deal with tragedy.