When you think of a superhero, you probably think of Captain America, Superman, or Iron Man. These individuals have idealized the quintessential projection of who we would become if it were only possible. Realistically, if you dialed 911 "they" would never respond to your emergency.
But when you feel threatened, at risk, or in a moment of panic, the person you count upon first and foremost is a member of the Red, White, and Blue...Fire, EMS, and Police. These are our First Responders and our "real" Superheroes. These individuals choose to protect all of us during our most vulnerable moments and run towards danger, rather than away from it. They think of you first and themselves last. Sacrifice, courage, and compassion are only a few of the words which describe who they are and why they do what they do.
Yet this is only part of the story. There are greater risks that the men of the Red, White, and Blue accept and endure as a result of their job calling. Firemen due to chemical contacts and inhalation of volatilized compounds at active and recent fire scenes significantly increase their risks of Lung, Prostate, and Bladder Cancer. These men have a 100% higher rate of Testicular Cancer. All of the First Responders are at increased risk of developing the metabolic syndrome which includes obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes. The underlying cause is likely secondary to work stress, shift work, and resultant sleeplessness.
This June we will be celebrating International Men's Health Month by honoring our First Responders and sharing their message to the communities which they serve. This is an opportune moment for all of us to share a moment of caring in return to our real superheroes. Take a moment to say thanks and show your appreciation for our Red, White, and Blue since they are the ones who will be there in your moment of need.