Liberty County first responders to be recognized at Sept. 18 luncheon

Firefighters give youngsters an opportunity to see a fire truck up close during a recent event in Cleveland.

First responders from Liberty County will be treated to a free barbecue dinner and receive congressional recognition from U.S. Rep. Brian Babin during an event hosted by local businesses on Sept. 18 at the Cleveland Senior Citizens Center, 220 Peach St., Cleveland.

“The men and women who volunteer and serve on these departments – police, firefighters, EMTs, wrecker drivers, Hazmat and highway patrol – respond to other people needs and their own often go overlooked,” said Steve Primeaux with Texas Elite Hospice.

The New Caney-based hospice business operated by Primeaux and Kem Kirkham-Arnold is spearheading the appreciation day with the support of Pace-Stancil Funeral Home, Bluebonnet News, Cleveland Lions Club, The Sanctuary of Cleveland and the Cleveland Senior Citizens Center.

“September is also First Responders Appreciation Month. It’s the time of the year when it brings into remembrance Sept. 11 and all of those who died. None of those first responders who ran into the buildings to save others thought of their own safety,” Primeaux said. “They just did it. People who are first responders, everywhere in our country, including Liberty County, put themselves in danger at times to rush in to save others.”

Representatives from every agency across Liberty County – from police, fire, highway patrol, Hazmat, EMTs and tow companies – are invited to attend the luncheon, which starts at 11 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m. Introductions will be made at noon with Rep. Babin expected to hand out the congressional recognition certificates shortly afterward. The festivities also include a raffle for a free pistol.

Texas Elite Hospice, Pace-Stancil Funeral Home and The Sanctuary of Cleveland will provide the barbecue brisket, chicken and sausage. Cleveland Senior Citizens Center volunteers will make the potato salad, beans, cookies and tea, while Bluebonnet News will provide homemade bread pudding and cakes.

“This is our way of giving back for what they do. Most of the time the work they do is a thankless job,” said Kirkham-Arnold. “I think everyone in the community has called upon a first responder for some emergency in their life. Many of them have other jobs and they volunteer their off-time to us. We want them to know their work and dedication to the community is appreciated.”

By Vanesa Brashier,

Below are some photos of recent events involving area first responders.


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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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