Sheila Jackson Lee

From the office of:

Sheila Jackson Lee

Sending Office: Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee
Sent By:

Ensure First Responders Families are Supported

Co-Sponsor H.R. 42, the “First Responders Identification of Emergency Needs in Disaster Situations” or

“FRIENDS Act of 2019”

Dear Colleague:

I invite you to join me as an co-sponsor of H.R. 42, the “First Responders Identification of Emergency Needs in Disaster Situations” or “FRIENDS Act of 2019,” which directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to conduct a study
and report to Congress regarding the impact of first responder concerns over training, equipment and the safety of family members could play in their availability or readiness to respond during a terrorist event or threat.  

The FRIENDS Act is supported by the International Association of Fire Chiefs, which endorses the bill because “it will examine an important issue facing the nation’s first responders during a major terrorist attack,” which is “adequate
preparedness for the first responders’ families.”  

We appreciate the bravery and dedication of first responders to the communities they serve. However, with the recent devastations of Hurricanes Harvey, and Maria, as well as the California fires, it is important to remember the
tremendous burdens first responders face when their communities are threatened. 

Emergency responders and law enforcement are called upon during terrorist incidents, wild fires, and hurricanes to protect the public and provide fire and emergency medical response. The experiences of IAFC members during the response
to Hurricanes Katrina and Harvey, the response to the Ebola incidents in Dallas, Texas in 2014, and the California wildfires highlight situations that impact first responders and their families. It is important that federal, state, and local officials make
plans to provide for the safety of first responders’ families to ensure strong moral among first responders during a major attack.

I ask that you join me as a cosponsor of the FRIENDS Act that incorporates the real-world concerns of first responders and their families in the DHS planning process. For more information or to cosponsor, please contact Lillie
Coney of my staff at or by telephone 202-225-3816.


Very Truly Yours,


Sheila Jackson Lee


Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Appropriations, Budget, Environment

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