Ketchikan — without a doubt — appreciates its first responders.

To show the community’s respect, City of Ketchikan Mayor Dave Kiffer issued a proclamation recently to recognize local first responders and to call attention to National First Responders Day (today).

The remembrance reminds us of the times when police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, as well as search and rescue volunteers, came to our aid.

It might have been at the scene of a traffic accident. Or maybe on the street outside a house saved from fire. Or inside a home to ready a potential patient for transport to a care facility.

Or even far from home — say off the path of Deer Mountain Trail — to rescue a lost hiker.

When called, they came. And they will keep coming to all manner of situations. It’s what they do.

The recognition given to first responders has been crescendoing in recent decades.

The increased attention seems to have come about as a result of the extensive media coverage of events like the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on New York City’s Twin Towers.

Cameras captured the aftermath of a jet cruising into one tower and the actual strike by another of the second. Next the building fell into pieces as first responders raced to the scene and attempted to assist its occupants. In their efforts, many lost their lives. Others suffered injuries, some with long-time implications.

Still others who managed to be physically unscathed continued to search for days for survivors of the building’s implosion. Recovery took months.

We saw all of this on the TV screen, and, in the viewing came to realize, if we hadn’t already, the intense situations that first responders encounter.

Not all rise to the magnitude of 9-11, but it often feels like it to members of the public who seek help when encountering difficult circumstances.

We all would like to avoid the types of events first responders deal with. But, when we can’t, we’re comforted in knowing and grateful for Ketchikan’s first responders.