Sept. 11 Becomes Texas State Holiday for Firefighters

that is a chore to implement

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Firefighters in Texas now have an official holiday.

    Sept. 11 became a holiday for Texas firefighters in a law passed by Rep. Armando Walle (D - Houston) to commemorate those who lost their lives in the attacks in New York.

    The law - Walle's first - went into effect Sept. 1, but it hasn't received much publicity and has been slow to catch on, however. The Dallas Fire Department wasn't even aware of it and said it would be conducting business as usual on that day this year.

    Jason Evans, a spokesman for Dallas Fire Rescue, said he wasn't sure whether the holiday would interfere with their department's original plans for the day. It has "Freedom Day" scheduled, where businesses and individuals (400-500 of them) donate time and money to renovate fire stations and academies by painting, cleaning, replacing ceiling tiles, and doing landscaping, among other things.

    "At some point it may be addressed, that's really about all I can say. I imagine if it's from the government then there's a strong possiblity that it will," Evans said.

    He also said he wasn't sure how it would be implemented in Dallas, considering each station is different.

    "I don't know how it's going to work with each individual fire department because we each have different types of schedules and different amounts of days as far as our payrolls are concerned and days we have to work per period, so it's going to be interesting to see how they work that into the whole scheme of things," Evans said.

    Each station also has to comply with a rule that all city employees have the same number of days off.

    In Plano, firefighters were given the choice of substituting the holiday with one of two Christmas holidays - Dec. 24 or Dec. 27. In Lewisville, they had to eliminate Labor Day to make room.

    Holly LaFon has written and worked for various local publications including D Magazine and Examiner.