International Firefighters Day
International Firefighters Day is held on May 4th of every year. Fire accidents occur in all the places including rural, urban, and forests. Firefights or firemen are those who come to the mind when it comes to saving the lives from those fire accidents. They are the rescuers who are extensively trained in firefighting who put their lives on the line to save the life and property of people and animals. Firefighters put their own life in handling the risky situations as to not only saving the life and property of so many unknown people but also saves the environment where we live. These real heroes need to be recognized and celebrated with a special day for all their incomparable work. International Firefighters Day is one such celebration that is dedicated to all the firemen and firewomen who deserves appreciation for all the hard work they do in saving so many lives.
“Firefighters are some of the most selfless public servants you will ever encounter.” – Denis Leary
History of International Firefighters Day
The International Firefighters Day (IFFD) has been in celebration since the year 1999. A firefighter named JJ Edmondson was the first person to come up with such a celebration. A December 2 fire accident incident held in the year 1998 in a bushfire in Australia had killed the lives of five firefighters named Chris, Garry, Jason, Matt, and Stuart. The tragic event has shaken the Linton Community, the whole of Australia and even the world. Thus Edmondson has sent an email to all his colleagues and calling them for an international holiday that would indeed honour the sacrifices and achievements of all the firefighters globally. Since then on every May 4th, people from all over the world are celebrating International Firefighters Day.
The unfortunate incident has inspired Edmondson to come up with this international holiday as a way to support the dedicated firefighters who lost their lives and those who risk their lives every day to save the life and property of others. The date coincides with the feast day of Saint Florian, the patron saint of firefighters. Saint Florian was found to be the first known commander of one firefighting squad in the Roman Empire in 300 AD. It is mentioned that St Florian had saved the entire village coved with fire by using a bucket of water. Thus, St Florian is recognized as the protector of those who had come in danger of fire. Therefore May 4th has been celebrated as traditional Firefighter’s Day in the many European countries. It is also called as a Day of Fire Service or St Florian’s Day, and it has been a tradition for more than 150 years in Europe.
Thus the International Fire Fighters Day has been chosen to honour on May 4 in honour of the saint. A piece of red ribbon and a piece of blue ribbon pinned together at the top like blue over red is the symbol of this international observance. The symbolic depiction of the colours of this IFFD ribbons represents the main elements with which the firefighters are working with. The red colour represents the fire and blue for water. Both the colours are internationally recognised as representing the emergency service. The communities observe a minute’s silence on remembering the sacrifices of firefighters in the form of a “Sound Off.” As an international way of support, the Sound Off is annually held on the first Sunday of every May for the firefighters to stop and remember our fallen and past firefighters who have been lost in of duty.
Other Celebrations on May 4
May 4 is also celebrated as
How to Celebrate International Firefighters Day
Celebrating the International Firefighters Day can be done in many ways possible. Show and share your appreciation and recognizations for the firefighters on this Day. If you know any, then meet in person and share your thoughts about the selfless risky works of those real heroes. Support those firefighters in every other need by showing some real form of gestures. You can provide your support in the form of donating money to those retired and injured firefighters. Wear a red and blue ribbon in the way of sharing your support for the IFFD. Take part in the Sound Off to remember and respect all those firefighters who lost their life because of their passion for fire. Share your views and appreciations for the firefighters on the social media using the hashtag #FirefightersDay.