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Madam Speaker, the small town of Cleveland, Texas, lost one of their finest citizens this week when Fire Chief Steve Wheeler was killed. Steve was more than a Fire Chief. He was a fireman's firefighter--dedicated to the people of his town.

Steve decided at 13 he wanted to be a fireman. He worked at the local barbershop and watched the firefighters next door at the station jump on fire trucks--and he got the urge to do the same.

After high school, he drove an ambulance and joined the volunteer fire department. He has held just about every position there ever since--most recently, head of the Cleveland Emergency Management Department. That's the folks that take over during hurricane disasters.

Steve will be remembered most for the 30 years as Chief of the Cleveland Volunteer Fire Department, for that firefighter spirit that he had, and that unwavering devotion to his firemen.

Today, Chief Steve Wheeler answered his last call. Flags will be lowered; the final radio call will be made; and the final fire bell will be rung.

Our prayers go out to the Wheeler family, the Cleveland Fire Department, and the good people of that entire community.

Steve Wheeler--fireman, father, fine Texan.

And that's just the way it is.

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