– Following in the footsteps of his predecessor, Gov. Josh Shapiro ignored the law and failed to declare Sept. 27 First Responders Day in Pennsylvania, Rep. David Maloney (R-Berks) said today.
Just as Gov. Wolf before him, Shapiro disregarded Act 27 of 2021
(Senate Bill 248 of 2021) which directs the governor each year to issue “a proclamation calling upon all public schools and educational institutions to observe "First Responders Day" and to conduct exercises recognizing the contributions and remembering the sacrifices that first responders have made.”
“Well, just as in 2022, Sept. 27 came and went with nary a peep from Gov. Shapiro,” Maloney said. “Everyone who was present in the House and Senate voted ‘aye’ when this legislation was before them, but when the rubber was supposed to hit the road, no one said or did anything. It is truly a shame.
Maloney said he made a law for Pennsylvania to have its own First Responders Day because 97% of Pennsylvania residents rely on volunteer first responders for fire protection and emergency medical services. The other reasons he said are clearly spelled out in the legislation Gov. Wolf signed into law:
((6) MORE THAN 100,000 FIRST RESPONDERS PERFORM THESE CRUCIAL SERVICES IN THIS COMMONWEALTH.
(7) APPROXIMATELY 30,000 SWORN POLICE OFFICERS FROM STATE, CITY AND COUNTY LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES PROTECT LIVES AND PROPERTY, DETECT AND PREVENT CRIMES, UPHOLD THE LAW AND ENSURE JUSTICE.
(8) TENS OF THOUSANDS OF FIREFIGHTERS, INCLUDING APPROXIMATELY 50,000 VOLUNTEERS AND 10,000 CAREER FIREFIGHTERS, PROVIDE FIRE SUPPRESSION, EMS, SEARCH AND RESCUE, HAZARDOUS MATERIALS RESPONSE, TERRORISM RESPONSE AND CRITICAL FIRE PREVENTION AND SAFETY EDUCATION.
(9) APPROXIMATELY 60,000 EMERGENCY SERVICES PROFESSIONALS IN THIS COMMONWEALTH RESPOND TO AND TREAT A VARIETY OF LIFE-THREATENING EMERGENCIES, FROM CARDIAC AND RESPIRATORY ARREST TO TRAUMATIC INJURIES.
“I had originally envisioned this to be a special day in Pennsylvania, where school students could be reminded of the sacrifices our first responders have made and perhaps even consider joining the profession or volunteering,” Maloney said. “I even thought an event in Soldiers Grove where the public and members of the General Assembly could gather and thank our first responders would be appropriate. But none of that has happened. I mean, if we can’t enforce shoplifting laws in this state, why would we enforce a First Responders Day law?”
Editor’s note: Video of Rep. Maloney’s remarks on Sept. 27, First Responders Day, can be viewed and downloaded here
Representative David Maloney
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Charles Lardner