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Recognizing our First Responders

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Twenty years ago, following the horrors of the September 11 attacks, Americans stood in solidarity with our heroes on the front lines. It seemed that all of us recognized the courage and valor of our first responders.

Americans are more polarized today, but I am grateful that the vast majority of my colleagues in the Senate still respect and appreciate the vital role of first responders in keeping us safe.

This session I was proud to win Senate passage of a pair of bills to recognize the tremendous work of the numerous local volunteer firefighters who selflessly serve their community.

In May, the Senate unanimously passed a Resolution I sponsored to honor the heroism of several Union Fire District volunteers who located and saved an unresponsive man and his dog in a structure fire. Our community owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to these volunteer firefighters Deputy Chief Tony Cinquegrana, Captain Tyler Parks, Lieutenant Eric Holmander, and Firefighters Matthew Viner and Daniel Kiley.

The Senate also passed legislation allowing municipalities to provide property tax exemptions to their volunteer firefighters. Under the bill, cities and towns across the state could, if they choose, offer their volunteer firefighters and emergency medical technicians a break on their property taxes.I will continue to work with my colleagues to win passage of this important bill through the House of Representatives so that this modest but important proposal can be implemented. It is a small token to recognize the valor and selfless service of the volunteer firefighters who protect us.