Washington, D.C. – On March 19th, national and state fire service leaders paid tribute to retiring Member of Congress Nick Smith in Jackson, MI at a special ceremony recognizing his contributions to our nation’s fire and emergency services. The featured speaker of the event was Congressman Curt Weldon, Founder of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus, who has worked closely with Smith on many pieces of fire legislation during their years together in Congress. A total of nine state and national fire services organizations, including the Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI), International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI), and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) presented Congressman Smith with awards to thank him for his tremendous support.
Congressman Smith in 1982 with then-Governor of Michigan Bill Milliken at a signing ceremony for firefighter legislation that Smith was able to get passed into law when he was serving in the State House of Representatives. Former Michigan Fireman’s Association President Paul Streng presented an enlarged copy of the picture to Smith at the fire services event.
“Nick has truly made a positive impact on our federal fire programs during his years in Congress,” said Bill Webb, CFSI’s Executive Director, one of the many fire association leaders paying tribute to Smith. “Few members have done as much to support our nation’s first responders. Working in the spirit of bi-partisanship, he’s played an integral role in fighting for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, the United States Fire Administration and many other federal programs.”
“We wanted to come to Jackson and thank Nick for all of his support,” said Steve Austin, IAAI’s Director of Government Relations. “I think that it is important that the firefighters here in Michigan understand how hard Nick works for them when he goes to Washington.”
Congressman Smith supported the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Firefighters Act (SAFER) of 2003 and was a co-sponsor of the U.S. Fire Administration Reauthorization Act of 2003.
“With the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program up for reauthorization, this is a critical year for the fire services,” Congressman Smith said. “It is going to take all of us working together to achieve real results for firefighters and emergency medical services personnel.”