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Rep. Jackson Introduces Legislation to Rename Post Office After Fallen Fire Chief Zeb Smith

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Representative Ronny Jackson (TX-13) introduced legislation to rename the U.S. Post Office in Fritch, Texas the “Chief Zeb Smith Post Office.” Fire Chief Zeb Smith lost his life while in search of a family whose house was on fire. This tragedy occurred during a time when Fritch and the surrounding communities in the Panhandle were witnessing record-breaking wildfires that destroyed over 1.2 million acres of land, claimed multiple lives, and killed thousands of head of cattle. Senator Ted Cruz (TX) is leading the companion legislation in the Senate.
Jackson said: “Fire Chief Zeb Smith paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty during the devastating wildfires that scorched the Panhandle. He left this world far too soon and is leaving behind a legacy as one of Fritch’s bravest and finest firefighters. Zeb’s heroism was without exception, and I am extremely proud to introduce this legislation appropriately naming the Fritch post office after somebody who was so selfless and brave in the communities he spent years protecting and serving. I also want to thank Chief Zeb’s family and the community for supporting this renaming, and I look forward to seeing this legislation passing out of the House of Representatives and the residents of Fritch utilizing the mail services at the “Chief Zeb Smith Post Office.”  

Senator Cruz said: “Earlier this year, I had the privilege to meet Chief Zeb Smith while he was fighting to stop the wildfires that were sweeping through the Panhandle. Less than 24 hours after, he tragically passed away in the line of duty. His death has left a huge hole in Fritch’s community where he was their chief, brother, and friend. I am proud to be leading legislation to memorialize Chief Smith’s heroic service to his community and to the Lone Star State.”
Zane Smith, son of the late Zeb Smith, said: “On behalf of the Zeb Smith family, we greatly appreciate the renaming of the Fritch Post Office. We know Chief Zeb Smith would be very honored.” 
Christina Athey, Fritch City Manager, said: "On behalf of the City of Fritch, we are grateful to Chief Zeb Smith for his service and dedication to our community! We were so blessed to have him as our Chief!  Thank you to Representative Jackson and Senator Ted Cruz for honoring him with the renaming of the Fritch Post Office."

The legislation can be found here. 
Biography of Zeb Smith: Zeb was born on November 14th, 1983. He grew up in Borger, Texas and went to Borger schools where he graduated in May 2002. While in school he was involved in Future Farmers of America and the Hutchinson County sheriff posse. He was a team roper in his younger years and enjoyed rodeoing, he even rode a few bulls. After school, he continued to be involved with the Hutchinson County Junior Livestock Board and was a member who eventually moved his way up to president. Zeb was passionate about the Western lifestyle and helping people get involved in the program. He found peace and comfort in working cattle. 
He became a firefighter in 2016 at the Borger Chevron Phillips Fire Service. He then joined the Fritch Volunteer Fire Department the following year. In May of 2020, he became the FVFD Chief. Zeb was extremely honored to have graduated from fire chief school in August of 2023 and was widely admired and respected for his exceptional leadership skills. He achieved great distinctions throughout his tenure and was committed to ensuring that his crews received the highest available levels of training and equipment. He tirelessly worked to obtain grants and donations, and his efforts led to the gift of two fire trucks to the department. Chief Smith played a vital role in fighting the historic wildfires that engulfed the Texas Panhandle in 2024.

Zeb is survived by his two sons Zane Smith and Braylan Brown, parents Joe and Lisa Smith, siblings Jennifer, Jessika, Matt, and Cody, Grandma Winnie Litterell, and 10 nieces and nephews.