It's a tragedy of our times that sometimes a badge becomes a target. The officer is attacked, maybe killed ... just because he or she is willing to wear that badge and stand for law and order in the face of violence.

A firefighter and paramedic are often in dangerous situations ... but normally, they are not intentionally targeted.

That changed this day in Maplewood. Firefighter/paramedic Ryan Hummert was gunned down as he responded to a call. He was killed, and two Maplewood officers were also shot, but will survive.

Mayor Mark Langston and others say that the 22 year old Hummert wanted to be a firefighter from a young age.

A firefighter rushes into a fire while others are rushing out. Why? Because there might be someone inside who needs your help.

Firefighters and paramedics are like Corpmen in battle .. unarmed ... taking risks ... and in this case .. paying with their lives while doing a job.

The City of Maplewood asks that any contributions you want to make in the name of Ryan Hummert ... be made to BackStoppers.

Since 1959, BackStoppers has provided emotional support and also financial assistance to spouses and children of all local and county police officers, firefighters, publicly-funded paramedics and EMTs and volunteer fire units ... killed during the line of duty.

BackStoppers provides assistance to counties served by Missouri State Highway Patrol C in Missouri and Illinois State Police District 11.

Within hours of the death ... Backstoppers gets a $5000 check to the family and follows up with help on other financial obligations: mortgage payments, car payments, credit card debt, taxes .. health and dental insurance ... education assistance.

That's just some of what BackStoppers does.

Here's what you can do.

You can join BackStoppers. You can make a contribution.

Simply go to the BackStoppers website; you'll find the link on our webpage.

I also urge you to look through the full website .. read the names of those local heroes killed in the line of duty.

It will remind you of the price ... others paid ... for our safety.

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