Bennet, Udall Push to Recognize Colorado Springs as New Home of National Memorial Service for Fallen First Responders

Introduce Resolution to Make Colorado Springs New Location for Yearly Memorial Service to Honor First Responders Who Have Died in Line of Duty

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall today introduced a Senate resolution recognizing Colorado Springs as the new home of a yearly National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Memorial Service to honor first responders who have died in the line of duty. The resolution comes after a decision made by the National EMS Board of Directors to move the annual memorial service from Roanoke, Virginia, to Colorado Springs. Colorado Springs competed against several other cities to host the event. This will be the first year the service is held in Colorado.

"Our emergency medical service first responders put their lives on the line every day to provide critical care to people in their time of greatest need," said Bennet. "They do their jobs every day with tremendous compassion for their patients and little regard for their own personal well-being. Colorado Springs, with its long tradition of service and self-sacrifice, is a fitting home for this memorial to honor the lives and legacy of America's first responders."

"Our first responders put their jobs first even at the risk of their own lives," Udall said. "We're proud to have this memorial in Colorado Springs and are honored to remember those who have died in the line of duty."

The resolution introduced by Senators Bennet and Udall recognizes Colorado Springs as the new home of the National EMS Memorial Service and Memorial for first responders who have fallen in the line of duty. This year's 18th Annual National EMS Memorial Service will take place on June 26, 2010, at the First Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs.

In 1992, EMS providers in Virginia formed the National EMS Memorial Service Committee after realizing that there was no specific mechanism to honor sacrifices made by EMS providers. There are such memorials for firefighters and law enforcement officers.

The Committee chose Roanoke, Virginia, as the location for a memorial and yearly service. In 1993, the Committee incorporated as an independent organization and formed a National EMS Board of Directors. Since then the National EMS Memorial Service has been a yearly volunteer effort to honor the first responders who have died in the line of duty.

In 2008, the Board chose a site selection committee to locate a new home for the memorial service and memorial. After analyzing site proposals from 14 cities, the committee selected Colorado Springs as the new site, beginning in 2010.

Congressman Doug Lamborn (CO-5) introduced a similar resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives last year.

The full text of the resolution can be found here.