Firefighters dedicate their lives to the protection of life and property. Sometimes that dedication is in the form of countless hours volunteered over many years, and in others it is many selfless years working in the industry. In all cases it risks the ultimate sacrifice of a firefighter’s life. Almost every employee at Jack Ward Fire is a former firefighter and we would like to thank and honor them today.
Although organized efforts to fight urban fires have been around for over two millennia, International Firefighters’ Day (IFFD) was first marked on May 4, 1999. It is a day to salute the men and women who help keep us safe, protect our property, our communities, and our wilderness; and to honor the men and women who have given their lives in the line of duty.
On IFFD, every person in the emergency service career gets recognized; hazardous materials specialists, fire prevention specialists, paid firefighters, volunteer firefighters, wildland firefighters, fire fighting heavy equipment operators/mechanics, emergency medical technicians, and many more.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Wear the IFFD ribbon or mount it visibly on your vehicle. The IFFD ribbons are linked to colors symbolic of the main elements firefighters work with – red for fire and blue for water. These colors also are internationally recognized as representing emergency service.
Participate in events sponsored by local emergency services providers including memorial services, open house, parades, and motorcycle runs.
On the first Sunday in May at noon local time, fire sirens sound for 30 seconds followed by a minute’s silence in memory of, and respect for, all firefighters who have been lost in the line of duty or passed on before us.
In the Catholic tradition, May 4 is recognized as a feast day for St. Florian, the patron saint of firefighters, chimney sweeps, and brewers. The cross of Saint Florian remains a common mark of firefighters and the organizations that support them. So, the feast day that honors the patron saint of firefighters was selected as the day to honor the service and sacrifice of firefighters everywhere.
“The role of a firefighter in today’s society – be it urban, rural, natural environment, volunteer, career, industrial, defense force, aviation, motor sport, or other is one of dedication, commitment and sacrifice – no matter what country we reside and work in. In the fire service we fight together against one common enemy – fire – no matter what country we come from, what uniform we wear or what language we speak.”
– Lt JJ Edmondson, 1999