October 4, 2023

Hoyer Speaks to Firefighters Union


Rep. Steny H. Hoyer delivered a keynote address at the International Association of Fire Fighters’ 2022 Alfred K. Whitehead Legislative Conference last month.

The congressman serves as co-chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus.

The congressman opened his remarks describing his reaction to a photograph he had seen in the news coverage of the war in Ukraine.

“Like many of you, I have been closely watching the terrible events in Ukraine, where Vladimir Putin has ordered his forces to attack civilian neighborhoods and innocent people. In one of the many heart-wrenching photos in the news this week, I saw a lone firefighter in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, climbing through a heap of rubble to find those trapped after a Russian missile struck an apartment building.”

He said it looked as though that firefighter, covered in soot and dust, had been through long, sleepless nights.

“My friends – you and I know well that the dedication and ethic of firefighters is a universal creed. Across nations and cultures, those who volunteer to go into harm’s way to save others live by a code of honor and service. And, rightly, they are lifted up by their fellow citizens as examples of courage. Throughout its history, the IAFF has been working to make sure that all Americans and those who serve them in Congress see that example and live up to our common responsibility to care for those who put their lives on the line for the rest,” Rep. Hoyer said.

“Many Americans do not realize the mental and emotional burdens carried by those who risk their lives day-in and day-out to keep our communities safe. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we found that this burden only grew for our firefighters and EMS workers,” Rep. Hoyer contined.

He said he was glad that IAFF has partnered with advanced recovery systems to open its first-ever regional Center of Excellence in Upper Marlboro in Prince George’s County, to provide firefighters and EMS workers with treatment for addictions and PTSD.

“It is critical that this help is readily available to those who need it most. It is also essential that fire and EMS departments have the funding and resources necessary so that first responders can perform their jobs as safely as possible,” he said.

To review his remarks as prepared for delivery, click here.

Follow Congressman Hoyer on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For more information about House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, visit his Leader member page.

Leave A Comment