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'The Business of Health Care Report'

Five Years After 9-11: First-Responders’ Role in Society Remains Paramount

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I’m Doug Hawthorne, president and CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”

As we mark the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, it has never been more apparent that the role of local police officers, firefighters, paramedics and other emergency personnel – called first responders – is as challenging and hazardous as ever.

Today every firefighter, police officer and EMT in communities across America must be prepared and equipped to deal with the threat and devastating consequences of terrorism. No one believes that every conceivable form of attack can be prevented. First responders will likely find themselves on the front lines again, so we must plan and train for that possibility.

Whether they’re responding to terrorism or a natural threat like hurricanes or tornadoes, first responders rely on the planning and support of many others.

Texas Health Resources and our hospitals are working diligently with local, regional and state emergency management organizations to continuously improve emergency response capabilities.

Americans will always be grateful for the sacrifices our first responders in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania made five years ago – and the steadfast courage thousands of others exhibit every day in communities across this nation.

Properly trained, equipped and supported, first responders have the greatest potential to save and protect lives. Perhaps a rededication to preparedness is the best way to honor the memories of those we lost on 9/11.

For Texas Health Resources and its faith-based hospitals – Harris Methodist, Presbyterian and Arlington Memorial – I’m Doug Hawthorne.

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