Two federal legislators, one from each party, have introduced legislation that would make First Responders Day a national holiday.
Congress designated October 28th as National First Responders Day in 2017. Now H.R. 8724, proposed by Reps. Bobby Rush (D-IL) and Ralph Norman (R-SC), would add it to the current list of 10 legal public holidays under U.S. law.
“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made the importance of the contributions our first responders make in every community across the United States clearer than ever,” Rush said in a press release. “Firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical services workers put their lives on the line every day to protect our neighborhoods. Whether that crucial work involves extinguishing potentially deadly fires, keeping our streets safe, or delivering urgent and lifesaving medical services, first responders are there when Americans need them… While we can never fully repay first responders for the critical work that they do each day, a federal holiday in their honor is one small way that we can demonstrate our gratitude.”
Added Norman, "The heroism firefighters, police officers, and paramedics show has never been clearer than it is right now. The coronavirus has tested us all, and local first responders everywhere have continuously stepped up to protect their communities. I am proud to introduce this legislation to help recognize these incredible men and women."
First Responders Day was first recognized by Congress three years ago, when Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Tom Cotton (R-AR), along with Reps. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Michael Capuano (D-MA), and Elijah Cummings (D-MD) introduced a resolution to establish a national day of recognition.