For most of the people at the Rib Mountain Fire Department on Sunday, it was an afternoon spent celebrating EMS week with the emergency workers, but one family wasn't there for the balloons, face painting and fire truck rides. They were there to thank the workers for their compassion in a time of need.
In March, Emily Galloway's husband died of a massive heart attack. It was a terrible situation that was made bearable by the comforting work of the first responders on the scene.
"They had to give me oxygen, they held my hand, they explained what happened, they stayed with me until I was able to feel better," said Galloway.
At times that night, the medical technicians at Galloway's house seemed more like trained psychiatrists. Not only did they ease her devastation, but they stayed with her children while they slept, making sure that if they should wake they wouldn't have to see what was happening to their father.
It's a side of the emergency workers not every one gets to see, and the reason why they hold open houses like the one in rib mountain.
"It's a comfort level, to get comfortable with us, to see what we have to offer, look at our equipment, see what we have out there," said Diana Robbins, Emergency Medical Worker.
Robbins says she hopes events like this will help reduce people's, especially children’s’ fears of emergency situations.
For Emily, she didn't need this celebration to know how special emergency workers are.
"They were what I needed, when I needed it."