A theme appears to be emerging from all the dramatic headlines of the last couple of weeks: First responders rule. There was, of course, yesterday’s emotional Waco memorial for the firefighters and medics who died in the West fertilizer plant explosion. But a smaller, no less intense drama played out in Fort Worth in the a.m. hours of Thursday: Two paramedics dragged a woman from a burning truck on I-30 seconds before the vehicle exploded.

Let’s note what Kayden Bathory and Robert Long didn’t do: They didn’t pause to ask if the woman was a liberal or a conservative; an Obama supporter or a Tea Party sympathizer; gay or straight; a Christian or a Muslim (or an atheist); an undocumented immigrant or a natural-born citizen. They just jumped into the middle of the blaze, risking their own lives to save another human being, much like the people who died in the West tragedy.

My mind boggles at the idea that if I’m ever trapped in a dangerous emergency –– even if I did something really asinine to cause that emergency –– total strangers are willing to do their best to save me. Gratitude is the key to living a happy life, some insist, and the presence of emergency responders is something we can all be very, very thankful for.

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So put it on your to-do list today: Hug a firefighter/EMT/cop, or buy them a beer, or offer to have hot “thank you” sex with them. They deserve a lot more.