Johnson honors Louisiana firefighters, first responders

Published 9:09 am Thursday, September 14, 2023

Special to the Leesville Leader

In a floor speech last night, U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson honored the hundreds of firefighters, first responders, and volunteers who worked around the clock to protect our state from this summer’s unprecedented wildfires.

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor and thank Louisiana’s brave first responders who valiantly rose to the occasion this summer as our state was hit with unprecedented wildfires, the largest of which is still burning.

“We had tens of thousands of acres charred, and nearly half of the parishes in my district were ablaze. At one time, parts of Sabine, Beauregard, Allen, Vernon, Natchitoches, Grant, Caddo, and DeSoto parishes were all on fire.

“Our communities received support from the State Fire Marshal, the State Police, and the National Guard, as well as nearly every local police and fire department in the region. The US Forestry Service dispatched firefighters and help from many states around the country.

“But many of the first responders were volunteers, Louisianians who donated time, money, and shelter to their neighbors in need.

“This disaster tested our state more than ever, and our people responded. Louisiana is home to the most resilient people you’ll ever meet, and we’ll bounce back from these wildfires just as we’ve done with every other disaster we’ve faced.

“It’s an honor to represent so many of these heroic individuals in Congress.”