Mr. Speaker, Hurricane Harvey pushed Houston first-responders to the limit. While groups like the Cajun Navy and other private citizens provided invaluable support to the Houston community in helping with emergency relief, peace officers and firefighters were underequipped to deal with the massive flooding that displaced thousands from their homes.
With only old and decrepit boats at their disposal, they were forced to conscript canoes and kayaks. To put it simply, they needed more boats.
The Houston Fire Department requested 20 boats from the city to help bolster their water rescue fleet, but the city was strapped for cash and could not feasibly pay for 20 boats on their own. Luckily, one group decided to step up and help.
The 100 Club donated 14 new rescue boats to first responders in Houston and Harris County. The group gave the Houston Police Department and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office five boats each and the Houston Fire Department four.
This will provide a much- needed boost to the fleets of these departments, who are now only in need of just a handful of boats from the city. The 100 Club has a history of helping Houston’s finest.
The organization has provided millions of dollars in financial aid to the families of fallen officers, scholarships and grants to officers and fire fighters, and equipment for first responders. After observing the water rescue efforts during the hurricane, the group began conversing with the authorities in Houston, who all highlighted the need for more rescue boats.
Mr. Speaker, our first responders provided invaluable assistance to the Houston community during and after Hurricane Harvey, despite their lack of equipment. After all, the tools do not make the man.
But the gracious donation by the 100 Club will allow these selfless individuals to serve their communities more effectively. The generosity shown is just another example of why the greatest people on earth live in America: they will always help each other.
And that is just the way it is.