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Letter: First responders appreciate thanks, but no special treatment necessary

I’m very impressed and pleased with the way Utah citizens honor and respect their first responders. I do however, have an issue with first responders receiving special treatment and or gratuities.

I worked as a first responder in California for over 30 years and was involved in riots, mass murder cases, earthquakes, wildfires, floods and mudslides. My agency, as with most that I am familiar with, had policies preventing acceptance of gratuities. I totally agree with those policies. We got paid for what we did.

When we retire, we have adequate retirement plans to take care of us. I cringe a bit when I see the news reporting that some first responder is being given free meals or other gratuities when he or she is also getting a paycheck every month. I’d like to see that money or gratuity go to the man or woman who has lost their job and has a family to feed. I’m also old enough to remember the end of the Great Depression and the beginning of World War II when average folks really struggled to put food on the table. If you have something to share, there are many organizations that will help you get it where it’s needed.

That’s my point, give it where it’s needed. With all my respect to my fellow first responders.

Don Lovejoy