First Responders Day Celebrated In Payson

Eddie Orcutt of Houston Mesa Fire Department enjoys his meal on First Responders Day at Rim Country Health and Retirement Community.

Eddie Orcutt of Houston Mesa Fire Department enjoys his meal on First Responders Day at Rim Country Health and Retirement Community. Photo by Andy Towle. |

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Pat Johnson, left, of Rim Country Health and Retirement, and Sanja Long, of Mogollon Health Alliance, prepare sack lunches for First Responders who may need to pick up a lunch and eat on the run.

Pat Johnson is not one to stand still for long. Recently, she was contemplating all the different kinds of objects, people, and animals that receive recognition through proclamations for having their own special day: as in 'Hot Chocolate day' , or 'International Hot & Spicy Food Day', or 'Model Boat Regatta Day', etc.

That got her to thinking about the tragic events of 911 and she wondered if there was a day for celebrating First Responders; you know, those people who arrive at accidents, disasters, and tumultuous events before anyone else does and save lives in the process through their training, expertise, experience and selfless giving.

Johnson googled 'First Responders' and discovered there is pending legislation to officially recognize First Responders with a day of their own. With that information in hand she decided to find out if a day in Payson could be proclaimed as 'First Responders Day'.

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Wesley Bramble, left, digs into the food as his dad, Dan Bramble, a Battalion Chief with the Payson Fire Department, oversees his choices. Yogurt as part of a lunch is always a good choice.

Johnson went to her boss, Harvey Pelovsky, Owner of Rim Country Health and Retirement, and requested assistance with setting up a day to provide a place where first responders could either have a free lunch at Rim Country Health or pack a sack and take it with them.

Pelovsky called Mayor Kenny Evans and Sanja Long of Mogollon Health Alliance to help make this event happen. Mayor Evans provided a proclamation for Sept. 25th as being First Responders Day; which coincides with the official day still pending in legislation in the U.S.

Mogollon Health Alliance added their support and this past Tuesday, Sept. 25, Pat Johnson saw her effort come to life. Pat Johnson, you are a First Responder.

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