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Annual Shock Trauma Gala Honors First Responders

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The unrest in the city following the death of Freddie Gray kept first responders incredibly busy. Out of respect for their hard work, the annual event honoring them all was canceled.

Marcus Washington reports this year, the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center Gala is back on, honoring those whose job is to put their lives on the line.

In a moment's notice, firefighters, police and paramedics put their lives at risk, not knowing what's behind that emergency call.

From there, it's the doctors, nurses and more making sure patients are getting the best treatment to save their lives.

"Without them, our city, our state is nothing. They put their lives on the line every day. They answer the call without understanding what they go into," said Karen Doyle, Shock Trauma.

Saturday night was about honoring Maryland emergency medical services system workers during the annual R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center Gala.

"For me to come down here and for people to recognize what we do, to have a thank you like this, I am actually speechless. I don't know what to say," said paramedic firefighter Greg Gatto.

Paramedics like Gatto don't normally meet those they rescue like Marcus Harcum, who Gatto rushed to Shock Trauma after he was stabbed the same day he graduated from college with a degree in electrical engineering.

"Thank you for arriving on time and getting me to the hospital. It's a miracle that I am still standing here today. I would thank them," Harcum said.

It's the words that many of those who risk their lives to save others rarely hear. But this night, they not only hear the words, they say they feel the love.

There were 1,500 people in attendance at Saturday night's gala where 86 emergency medical services personnel were honored.

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