MCC member and First Responder Hal Cutler discusses the church’s newly purchased AED with member Jane Roddy. Courtesy photo by Jack Mohr.

Sudbury – “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers.  You will always find people who are helping.”  Reflecting on these words from late children’s television host Mr. Rogers, Rev. Tom O’Brien led the congregation on Memorial Congregational Church (United Church of Christ) in Sudbury in honoring the region’s first responders and medical personnel.

Over the past months, natural disasters such as hurricane and tornadoes, and human-created violence in Newtown, CT. and at the Boston Marathon have caused trauma and havoc.  While the images on our TV screens have been frightening, we don’t always notice the helpers and we too often forget to offer our thanks.  Even though Sudbury has not experienced great natural or man-made disasters, many families have faced loss and struggles.  When these tragedies occur, the Sudbury Fire and Police departments are there to help, responding to fires, accidents, medical emergencies and more.  Sudbury is also served by doctors, nurses, lab technicians, hospital workers and many other medical personnel.

Emergency Medical Technicians, Firefighters, Police Officers, and Medical Personnel who live, serve or worship in Sudbury (past or present), were invited to attend the service with their families.  Many chose to come wearing the uniform of their vocation.

As he reflected on the parable of the Good Samaritan, Pastor Tom used Mr. Rogers’ words as a reminder that there are always people to help, even in times of great sadness and distress.  First responders get to the scene quickly to minimize injuries and damage; hospital workers help to heal and support the victims; and long term care counselors and therapist work with lingering injuries and effects from trauma.

After offering his meditation, Pastor Tom led the congregation in a litany of thanks and blessing, offering prayers for all who serve.

MCC members who serve as first responders and in the medical field pose together following the special service. Courtesy photo by Jack Mohr.

The service also provided an opportunity to dedicate a new Automated External Defibrillator (AED) that will be placed in a central location in the church.  Many first responders, nurses and other hospital workers attend the church and are trained to use an AED and it is the hope that having the equipment on site will be an asset to the health of the church.

Following the service, church attendees had an opportunity to view a firetruck provided by Sudbury Fire Department Lt. Dave Ziehler and Firefighter/EMTParamedic Bill Francis.