First Responder Appreciation Week to start next week in Oregon - KPTV - FOX 12

First Responder Appreciation Week to start next week in Oregon

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Ever since 2013, September 27 has been First Responder Appreciation Day in Oregon – but now, Governor Kate Brown is expanding the observance for the first time.

In an official proclamation, Gov. Brown is declaring September 21 – 27 to be First Responder Appreciation Week, honoring not only police officers and firefighters but also EMT’s, 911 dispatchers, and search and rescue volunteers.

As part of the celebration, organizers have several events planned.

On September 24, both Oregon State University and the University of Oregon have home football games, in which first responders will be recognized at halftime. 

During the Oregon game, first responders will take part in a flag ceremony at the beginning of the game. At the Oregon State game, first responders will participate in the coin toss.

Discounted tickets for both games will be offered to first responders. People who wish to contribute can do so through the nonprofit Oregon Association Chiefs of Police at 1191 Capitol Street NE, Salem, Oregon 97301 (www.policechief.org).

In addition, the Oregon Department of Education is working to get students across the state involved, by distributing projects and ideas for school-based expressions of appreciation.

Special messages of thanks will be shared from country stars like Jason Aldean, Brantley Gilbert and Pam Tillis.

On September 27, a special First Responders Appreciation Night will be held at the Victory Club in Salem, complete with commemorative glasses and performances from a bagpiper and drum line. Proceeds will benefit the Oregon Fallen Badge Foundation.

Organizers say first responders have been under extra scrutiny in recent months and could use a little extra support.

“There’s nothing better than encouragement, there’s nothing better than extending love to offer a helping hand,” said supporter Jim White.  “First responders are there 24/7/365 days a year and so we owe them a ton of gratitude, and we need to say thank you.”

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