Metro community comes together at Maverick’s game in support of first responders

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City, Missouri Police Department asked for the community’s support after one of its own tried to take his own life. On Saturday night, the Silverstein Eye Center Ice Arena was full of support for first responders.

The Kansas City Mavericks hockey team hosted First Responders Saturday night. A tribute to those who deal with difficult situations daily.

The whole theme of the night is Great Saves, both on the ice and in real life. The people who filled the stands are include first responders, and those who have been helped by them.

Daniell Decker brought her daughter and grandchildren to the Maverick’s game Saturday night. For most, it was another night of hockey. For Decker, it was a reminder that she almost didn’t get to the game.

“They saved my life,” she said. “I wouldn’t be here without any of the first responders.”

She said she felt light headed, that her blood pressure kept dropping. She insisted her husband take her to the hospital. The last thing she remembered, she said, was “being wheeled in wheelchair.” She woke up two days later in a different hospital, with two stents in her heart. Two of her arteries were blocked, one 90 percent blocked, the other 70 percent.

You might call that a ‘Great Save’. It’s the theme of Saturday night’s game.

“The one thing I want to say more than anything is thank you,” Decker said. “Thank you for doing your job, thank you for caring enough, thank you for being there when I needed you the most. Thank you for letting me spend more time with my grandchildren and my children.”

It’s a sentiment many may say, but perhaps, not enough first responders hear.

“These people wake up every day and it’s life or death,” Mavericks CEO and President Brent Thiessen said. "And that’s why the organization hosted first responders, EMTs, fire fighters, police officers, and more. “And it really gives you a lot of perspective when you think of it that way.”

From outside of Section 108, Ronnie Doumitt worked the Chuck-a-Puck table. “If I make $5, it’s $5 more than I started,” he said with a smile.

Doumitt, a first responder himself, knew how difficult an illness or injury is for a first responder to handle. That’s why he created Answering The Call KC to financially assist first responders. And that’s why he was raising money at the game Saturday night.

“They answer our call every single day,” he said, “so this is a way the community can give back - and answer their call in their time of need.“

Doumitt realizes money can’t solve every problem an officer or fire fighter. And that’s why Decker is in the seats.

“Giving them a boost,” she explained, “letting them know that what they do really does matter and really does count in people’s lives. Without them, there would be so many people who weren’t’ here.”

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