WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) delivered remarks on the Senate floor today to recognize Ohio’s first responders. This week is Ohio Appreciation Week honoring all first responders who devote every day to ensure Ohioans’ health and safety.

Transcript of his remarks can be found below and a video can be found here or by clicking on the photo below. 

“I’d like to talk tonight about the brave Ohioans who dedicate themselves every day to protecting all the rest of us, and that’s our first responders.

“This week is Ohio first responder week. It’s a week of appreciation, the theme being “Bringing help. Bringing hope.” Well said. Police officers, firefighters, EMS professionals, and other first responders put themselves in harm’s way for us every single day. They risk their own safety to care for others. They wake up every day, put on their uniform, carry out their duties with an unwavering commitment to their communities and a pledge to protect those around them.

“This morning we had our weekly Buckeye coffee. We had people from all over Ohio there. Sure enough, a bunch of first responders showed up, there was the EMS Chiefs Association. We had an opportunity to talk a little about what they’re dealing with every day. Of course with EMS, They’re helping with regard to traffic accidents or gunshot wounds and so on. But one of the new challenges that they face, which is taking an enormous amount of their time and effort, is the opioid crisis. So these first responders now in your community, I bet you if you go to your firehouse and ask them, are responding more to overdose runs than they are to fires.”

“This is one example where they are on the frontlines dealing with these issues, using Narcan, this miracle drug that reverses the effects of an overdose, to be able to save lives. So we appreciate them. The service and commitment of these first responders is needed now more than ever. So I urge all Ohioans this week to dedicate their thanks to first responders. If you live in a community with an event, which a number of them are, I hope you’ll attend the event. If not, When you cross paths with a first responder, thank him, thank her, tell them you appreciate what they’re doing.

“I know I speak for the entire Buckeye State when I say that we’re grateful for the work our first responders do every single day and they’ll continue to do as the theme says this year, bring help and hope to all of us. We thank them.”