b'STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE FOUR Fire and emergency services should be recognized as part of the national critical infrastructure.Fire and emergency services continue to have an expanding mission beyond fire protection. Our oath of office, value, and viability depend on answering all requests for service, including non-traditional tasks. Meeting these community demands requires collaborative relationships, additional resources, and the recognition of fire and emergency services organizations as part of the national critical infrastructure. BackgroundLocal fire and emergency services, such as water rescues, unplanned release of hazardous materials, wildland fire interface issues, pandemic responses,and technical rescue services, are taxed to their limits. Fire and emergency services are called upon to fill the void and bridge the gap between community needs and service delivery capabilities. Local communities must provide fire and emergency services with the needed resources to answer these and other emergent community expectations. 11'