First Response Coalition Calls for First Responders Appreciation Day

The First Response Coalition (FRC) has called on Congress to designate Sept. 22 as "National First Responders Appreciation Day." The national day of recognition would honor the millions of first responders who risk their lives to protect America's communities.

The FRC released a draft resolution that outlines the reasons that first responders deserve a national day of thanks and appreciation. This call for a national day of recognition has already received bipartisan support from Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA).

"Firefighters, law enforcement officers and emergency medical workers deserve to be recognized for their heroic work," said Collins. "I support the First Response Coalition's call for a 'National First Responder Appreciation Day' to honor these men and women who put their lives at stake to protect our communities."

The FRC's draft resolution cites the tireless efforts of the country's 1.1 million firefighters, 670,000 police officers and 742,000 emergency medical personnel. The FRC chose Sept. 22 as the date for the proposed appreciation day as it was in the aftermath of Sept.11 that first responders received widespread praise for their heroic work.

"Every day in cities and towns across the nation, firefighters, police officers and emergency medical personnel work to protect our communities," said Steven Jones, executive director of the First Response Coalition. "Although they have earned the praise of local citizens, businesses, policymakers and the media, there currently exists no national day to honor these brave men and women. A 'National First Responder Appreciation Day' corrects this oversight, and recognizes those in the first responder community for the important contributions they make to all Americans."

First response groups also support the FRC's initiative. Ron Hamilton, executive director of the National Black Police Association (NBPA) said, "A 'National First Responder Appreciation Day' recognizes the important contributions made by all first responders in cities and towns throughout America. Such recognition is long overdue, and the National Black Police Association wholeheartedly supports this effort."

Bill Dobson, executive director of Southeast Louisiana Search & Rescue (SELSAR) said that recent disasters in Louisiana have reminded residents of that state that "our police officers, firefighters and emergency medical workers play a critical role in keeping us all safe. Our nation's first responders are very deserving of such an honor."

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