Tag: LODD

Congressional Fire Services Caucus Conducts 5th Annual Flag Presentation with National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

(October 5, 2018) – On Thursday, October 4th, the leadership of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus presented 103 American flags to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.  The flags, which had been flown over the United States Capitol Building at the request of the Fire Caucus, will be presented to the survivors of the firefighters being honored at the 37th Annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service on Sunday, October 7th in Emmitsburg, Maryland.  

Senator Jon Tester (MT), a co-chair of the Fire Caucus, presided over the official transfer of the flags to Chief Dennis Compton, the chair of National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) Board of Directors.  Senator Tester was joined by the Senate Chaplain, Admiral Barry Black, as well as senior staff from the office of Senator Susan Collins (ME), the current chair of the Fire Caucus. Bill Webb, Executive Director of the Congressional Fire Services Institute and Vice-Chair of the NFFF Board, served as the Master of Ceremonies.  

103 firefighters will be honored at the Memorial Service, 80 who died in the line-of-duty in 2017, and 23 from previous years.  17 of the firefighters being honored died as a result of 9/11-related illness.

Details about the 37th Annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service, including how to view, can be found on the NFFF website.  

Congress Passes Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Improvement Act

(May 18, 2017) – This week, Congress passed legislation designed to improve the timeliness and transparency in the Justice Department’s processing of the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program survivor, disability, and educational assistance claims.  S. 419, the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Improvements Act, was introduced by Senator Charles Grassley (IA) on February 16, 2017.  The bill will address on-going problems with the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) program.

The legislation allows the PSOB office to issue rules, regulations and procedures that are based on standards developed by other federal agencies dealing with death or disability claims of public safety officers.  This is in direct response to the Department of Justice’s delay in adopting the World Trade Center Health Program and Victims’ Compensation Fund findings associated with 9/11-related claims.  Additionally, the legislation restores the “substantial weight” standard that requires the PSOB office to give substantial weight to the findings of federal, state, and local agencies as to the cause of the public safety officer’s death or disability prior to the rewrite of regulations in 2005.  The bill also requires the PSOB office to post a public weekly status report on claims and to make a detailed biannual report to Congress.

S. 419 was approved unanimously by the Senate on Tuesday, May 16th.  The House unanimously approved the bill the following day.  The legislation will now go to the White House for the President’s signature.

House Approves the Honoring Hometown Heroes Act

(May 18, 2017) – On the afternoon of Thursday, May 18th, the House approved H.R. 1892, the Honoring Hometown Heroes Act.  The legislation amends the U.S. Flag Code, affirming the ability of state governors, as well as the mayor of the District of Columbia, to order the lowering of the United States flag to half-staff in the event of the death of a first responder in the line- of- duty.  H.R. 1892, sponsored by Congressman John Larson (CT-1), was approved by the House Judiciary Committee earlier this month.  

Senator Jon Tester (MT), a co-chair of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, introduced companion legislation, S. 1108, on May 11th.  

House Judiciary Committee Approves The Honoring Hometown Heroes Act

(May 4, 2017) – On May 3, 2017, the House Judiciary Committee approved H.R. 1892, the Honoring Hometown Heroes Act, by voice vote.  The legislation, which was introduced by Congressman John Larson (CT-1), amends the U.S. Flag Code, affirming the ability of state governors, as well as the mayor of the District of Columbia, to order the lowering of the United States flag to half-staff in the event of the death of a first responder in the line- of- duty.  

In 2013, CFSI’s National Advisory Committee approved a resolution calling on CFSI to support the legislation.  Companion legislation is expected to be introduced in the Senate later this month.