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Emergency Responders Bear Heavy Load

Other Editors Say...

The tragedy in Piketon, where eight members of the one family appear to have been executed (on April 22), drives home the awful things that police, paramedics and others who work accidents and crime scenes see as part of their work day.

Crime scenes must be combed for evidence and clues.

As Dispatch reporter Holly Zachariah noted, the first-responders “can’t refuse to be a part of it… They can’t blink it all away.”

While professionals try to maintain a sense of detachment, this has to be particularly difficult in smaller communities, where people are more likely to know each other.

Zachariah talked to former longtime Logan County sheriff Michael Henry to get a sense of what Pike County emergency responders must be going through.

Henry told her, “You see such carnage and nastiness that you can’t ever put it out of your mind.

“But eventually, you have to take that uniform off and just be a human, just feel. And that’s tough to do. It’s tough for everyone there right now.”

Henry was sheriff in rural western Ohio in 2005, when 18-year-old Scott Moody shot and killed his grandparents, his mother, two friends and then himself.

Only a younger sister, also shot, survived.

That case took a serious toll on his community and Henry’s health.

Such unimaginable crimes unfortunately require no imagination for those who work to keep others safe.

We thank those working in Piketon– and all those who serve in other communities and have to witness tragedies– fires, fatal accidents, teen suicides, to name a few– that are heartbreaking, but don’t always grab the headlines. Columbus Dispatch

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