RALEIGH – During the 2017 Legislative Session, the North Carolina General Assembly officially established September 11th as an annual legal holiday, recognized as “First Responder Day”. It was included as a part of the 2017 Appropriations Act (HB 257).
According to Tim Bradley, Executive Director of the NC State Firefighters Association, it was a fitting tribute to the men and women who serve as first responders in our State. “Just in the fire service alone, there are close to 50,000 men and women who serve their communities daily in North Carolina, often in dangerous situations and at great personal sacrifice. Giving them a designated day where they can be honored is fantastic.” Bradley said.
Designating September 11th was based on the terrorist attacks in 2001 that killed 2,996 people, 403 of those first responders. At the World Trade Center 343 New York Firefighters, 23 New York Police Officers and 37 Port Authority Officers were killed responding to the event. “Sixteen years after the event, and into the future, this day will be a poignant reminder of the selflessness and courage that embodies our first responders. That sacrifice is played out daily in our communities, and across the country in events like the response to Hurricane Harvey” Bradley said. “It’s an ongoing commitment each of them have”.
You see them every day in your communities. Firefighters and Rescue Workers, Police Officers, Emergency Medical Responders, and those that dispatch and support them. They are your neighbors, friends, coworkers. This designated holiday will serve as a reminder for people to stop and say “thank you for helping to keep our community safe”.
For local events related to this new holiday contact your police or fire chief, or check your local media for listings.