WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) along with Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) today introduced a bi-partisan resolution to establish “National Firefighter Appreciation Day” on October 10, 2006. The following are excerpts from Senator Inhofe’s statement upon introduction of the resolution.

“ … Volunteer and paid firefighters alike are often forgotten until tragedy strikes and they valiantly come to the rescue. I think that it is regrettable that many of us fail to recognize the sacrifice these brave men and women make every day. Therefore, today I introduce a resolution to establish the first annual National Firefighter Appreciation Day on October 10, 2006.”

Every year in the United States, over one million firefighters working with approximately 30,000 fire departments risk their lives to protect the nation. Nearly 75 percent of those firefighters are volunteers who receive little or no compensation for their heroic work.

National Firefighter Appreciation Day will be a day for all Americans to take time to appreciate the firefighters in their communities and will fall on the second Tuesday in October so that it occurs within Fire Prevention Week, during which firefighters and fire marshals typically educate children about ways to prevent fires. Senator Inhofe’s legislation will provide communities the opportunity to express their appreciation to firefighters for their invaluable assistance in educating and protecting our nation.

Senator Inhofe worked with the Oklahoma State Firefighters Association to help create this important legislation. The resolution is expected to pass tonight.