GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - President Obama spoke of the great acts of bravery in the midst of tragedy. Among the heroes were first responders who ran into chaos to save lives. Some South Mississippi firefighters said for first responders, sometimes the aftermath of tragedy is just as difficult to deal with as the event itself.
"Your heart goes out to them. You know that they're dealing with a very stressful situation," said Kevin Lundy, Gulfport Fire Department. "You know that they're going to have to face that for weeks to come and deal with what they saw and ask questions of why it happened. Just always second guessing what they did, and is what they did good enough?"
Gulfport and Long Beach Firefighters in training themselves say they are proud of the leadership they saw from their fellow first responders in Massachusetts.
Joseph Stapleton of the Long Beach Fire Department said, "Those guys did what they knew they had to do. Unfortunately, we've seen this happen before."
"The guys were sitting here talking about it, obviously like most of the country was yesterday, and feeling really sorry for those affected, their families," said Stapleton. "At the same time, even though it's our job to be prepared to handle that type of situation, you can't live your life in fear. For the rest of the community, they have to be confident that we can handle that type of situation when it arises."
Firefighters said while they hope to never see a Boston type situation they train just in case.
"The first thing is how would we handle that locally. When you see something like that you always wonder, do we have the resources? Are we prepared to handle any event like that?" Lundy asked. "We tend to forget quickly if something doesn't happen. The public and even public service tends to forget what can happen and how bad it can be."
Firefighters said when first responders have the assistance and cooperation of the community, it makes it easier to focus on what they need to do.