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By virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution of Virginia in the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, there is hereby officially recognized:

First Responder Wellness Week

WHEREAS, first responders, both men and women, career and volunteer, including 911 dispatchers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical services personnel, search and rescue teams, rescue pilots and divers, emergency management professionals, and members of other organizations in the public safety sector, are the core foundation of our communities, responsible for preserving safety, security, and civility; and

WHEREAS, first responders serve the Commonwealth of Virginia day and night, constantly navigating dangerous threats, growing challenges, and public emergencies without precedent, all while working tirelessly to provide aid, care, and support to our citizens; and

WHEREAS, through their service to our citizens and in their selfless contributions, responders endure increased instances of stress, trauma, burnout, mental fatigue, post-traumatic stress, heart disease, anxiety, depression, and other challenges that adversely affect their mental and physical wellness; and

WHEREAS, we acknowledge that mental health challenges, suicidal ideation, physical health morbidity, cancer risk, and early demise are all potential realities within the first responder profession; and

WHEREAS, we reflect upon the enduring valor and commitment of Virginia’s first responder community, their families, and those who survive them, recognizing the vast impact of their service and the integral role that wellness resources hold in their ability to thrive; and

WHEREAS, we appreciate the essential contributions of first responders and renew our vital commitment to providing comprehensive training and resources that support all areas of first responder wellness; addressing and mitigating the risk factors for suicide among first responders; and, reducing the stigma that surrounds help-seeking behaviors and making available competent resources to all first responders in expression of our deep gratitude for their service;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Glenn Youngkin, do hereby recognize March 25-29, 2024, as FIRST RESPONDER WELLNESS WEEK in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.