Are you ready to make the difference?

r By Ken Wright

Before moving to beautiful Salem, where I joined the outstanding men and women of SEMA, I was a police officer for a little over 33 ½ years at a large Southern California police agency. Constant exposure to victims of crime, accident, and disaster reminded me that tragedy can befall any of us. It was apparent, however, that “luck favors the prepared.” With that in mind, I/we lived with a principle of obligatory preparedness:

When the time to perform arrives, the time to prepare has passed.rAnd, you will only have what you bring to the battle that day-ryour knowledge, your skills, your strengths and your tools.rYou may only have a few minutes, or a few seconds, to makerthe difference –or not- and the rest of your life to think about it,rwith the likelihood you will never be there again to make it different.

Though the battles are different in EMS than in police work, the principle’s the same.

In this world, each of us may face disaster. The Boston Marathon bombing resulted in multiple traumatic amputations (limbs literally blown off). 527 people were injured (58 killed) in the Las Vegas shooting. Ten were killed and 14 injured in the Toronto vehicle attack. In every case, bystanders with some knowledge, skills, strengths and, maybe, some tools stepped in to make a difference.  

Are you ready to step in to the make the difference? If the one in need is your neighbor, spouse, child, loved one, are your prepared to live with not having been ready to make the difference and the likelihood that, once it is done, you will never be there again to make it different.  Recently SEMA offered to teach the two-hour National Stop the Bleed course – FOR FREE. Only one person inquired.

We will run to help you like you are one of our own, but in the case of a serious bleed or AMI (heart attack), it could all be over “but the shoutin’” by the time we get there. High-quality CPR and early defibrillation are still the most important factors in saving lives in cardiac arrest – do you know both, or either? Are you ready with the knowledge, skills, and tools to apply a tourniquet or stop bleeding at a junctional injury where a tourniquet won’t work?  

Perhaps it’s the time or money that have kept you from learning these life-saving skills.  But, ask yourself how much you would pay, or how much time you would you promise to spend after the fact, as you try to beat back the hands of the grim reaper from your loved one.

Again, we will come running like our life depends on it to get to you, but it may be you who can make the real difference until we get there.

SEMA is always interested in reaching out to our neighbors to increase our safety. If you might be interested in learning more email me at

Chris Baird
Chris Baird
Chris is a family man with a beautiful wife and four kids. Three Girls, One Boy. He enjoys playing basketball, being outdoors, and the old normal.

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