• Today's Daily Devotion
If We Help Save A Single Life
A BUSY SUMMER was coming to an end, and I was looking forward to some quieter months ahead. It was Friday night, September 28. I was home preparing for a relaxing weekend ...

IF WE HELP SAVE A SINGLE LIFE

Sergeant Galen Smidt

Sioux Falls, SD, Police Department

A BUSY SUMMER was coming to an end, and I was looking forward to some quieter months ahead. It was Friday night, September 28. I was home preparing for a relaxing weekend when my phone rang at 9:30. The shift supervisor told me there had been a fiery crash with fatalities, and was requesting our crash reconstruction team. It had been a busy year of fatalities, and the callouts were becoming wearying. However, even after 15 years’ experience, I had an uneasy feeling this accident was going to be different.

After making necessary calls, I went to the scene of a head-on crash involving a sports car and a full-size pickup truck. The car had exploded into a fiery inferno on impact, killing two teenagers inside. Their burned bodies were still in the car. As I examined them and authorized their removal, I couldn’t help but think of my two teenage boys and grade school daughter back safe at home. Just then the parents of the deceased 15-year-old girl arrived unexpectedly on the scene. One of my officers attempted the impossible task of trying to console them. As difficult as it is to deliver a death notice to parents at their home, it is absolutely devastating at the scene of a crash—especially one as gruesome as this. Of all the accidents I’ve worked, I always will carry the sight of those charred remains in my memory.

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After that horrific incident, my traffic team used the experience to initiate a Careless Teen Driving Presentation. It since has been given to thousands of students. We may never know how successful we have been, but if we have prevented even one major crash, that will have made a difference.

We’re supposed to be “tough,” but accidents like that one greatly affect law enforcement officers. Unfortunately, the job causes far too many divorces, alcoholism, and personal problems because officers don’t know how to deal with shocking incidents. My team and I handled this one by turning it into a positive training tool. But the real secret to surviving the job is to make God Number 1 in your life. Through perseverance and his grace, that’s what my family and I are committed to do.


Other Items In The Battlefields and Blessings Series

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