LUMBERTON — Thanks to three local legislators the week of Sept. 9-15 has been designated Firefighters Week in North Carolina to honor the work and sacrifice made by firefighters.
A resolution approved by the General Assembly, sponsored by Rep. Charles Graham, Rep. Garland Pierce and Rep. G.L. Pridgen, all of whom represent a part of Robeson County, and Rep. Larry Hall encourages residents to observe Firefighters Week annually during the week containing Sept. 11, a date chosen by the North Carolina Firefighters Association because of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
“I hope during this week our citizens will acknowledge a firefighter in a small way by simply saying thank you,” Graham said in a statement. “We see them responding to accidents on our highways, or during weather-related emergencies. They are truly American heroes.”
Robeson County has 991 firefighters, 885 of whom are volunteers, who have already responded to about 40,000 emergency calls this year, according to Paul Miller, executive director of the North Carolina Firefighters Association.
Graham said the sacrifice firefighters make is obvious by the loss of Fire Chief Sam Butler, of the Evans Volunteer Fire Department, who lost his life while responding to an accident.
“Hopefully, during the week of September 9-15, we can all honor and pay tribute to our firefighters for the work they do for all of us,” Graham said. “Whether firefighters are volunteers or paid, they are willing to put their lives on the line for us.”
In North Carolina, there are 53,443 firefighters, including volunteers and a paid.