International Fire Fighters’ Day 2019
International Fire Fighters’ Day is observed each year on 4 May, the day of Saint Florian, patron saint of fire fighters and is a time where the world’s community can recognise and honour the sacrifices that fire fighters make to ensure that their communities and environment are as safe as possible. It is also a day in which current and past fire fighters can be thanked for their contributions.
IFFD was instituted after a proposal was emailed out across the world on 4 January 1999 due to the deaths of five fire fighters in tragic circumstances in a bushfire in Australia. On 2 December 1998, a tragic event shook the Linton Community, Australia and the world. Fire fighters in Linton, Australia, a populated region in Victoria, were fighting a large bush fire and called for mutual aid. This urgent mutual aid call brought the Geelong West Fire Brigade to the scene not knowing the despair and tragedy that was in store. Garry Vredeveldt, Chris Evans, Stuart Davidson, Jason Thomas and Matthew Armstrong all loaded into company’s truck. They were part of a strike team and were being sent to help extinguish the flames. As the five headed into the hot zone, the wind suddenly switched direction, engulfing the truck in flames and killing all five members. This unfortunate incident is what inspired JJ Edmondson to bring about an international holiday, called International Fire Fighters Day, to support the lives lost and dedicated fire fighters who risk their lives every day to save life and property.
One of the most significant symbols of International Fire Fighters Day is the red and blue ribbon. This ribbon is cut precisely five centimetres long and one centimetre wide, with the two separate colours conjoined at the top. JJ Edmonson chose red and blue because the red stood for the element of fire whereas the blue would represent the element of water. Coincidentally, red and blue are also the colours recognised worldwide to signify emergency services. The ribbon is traditionally worn on the lapel but is not limited to that certain spot. Some people may also put it on their cars visors, hats, hang them in windows or off of car mirrors or even hang them from trees in their front lawn. The red and blue ribbon is a simple but yet effective way to show support for International Fire Fighters Day.
Western Cape Province
Western Cape Province and Stellenbosch Municipal Fire and Rescue Services, in conjunction with Cape Winelands District Municipal Fire Services and The Southern Cape SAESI Branch will host the 2019 event in Stellenbosch on 3 and 4 May 2019. The event will be preceded by the Western Cape Chief Fire Officers Forum meeting in Franschoek on 3 May 2019.
A procession of 45 vehicles and 130 fire fighters will be driving through Stellenbosch and surrounds, making its way to The Braak in Stellenbosch where fire fighting and rescue demonstrations and competitions will be taking place. The vehicle procession starts at 8h30 and festivities at The Braak kick off at 10h15. The programme is as follows:
7h45 Vehicles assemble at Stellenbosch Fire and Rescue
8h30 Procession departs
10h00 Procession arrives at The Braak
10h15 Opening prayer and scripture reading
10h30 IFFD Ceremony
11h20 Start of demonstrations and events and start of team challenge
14h30 Final word of thanks and prize giving
The Gauteng Provincial Disaster Management Centre, in collaboration with The City of Tshwane will this weekend honour fire fighters who lost their lives in the line of duty while earnestly trying to save a life or protect those in danger. This will form part of the International Fire Fighters’ Day commemoration to be held in Centurion.
The commemoration will take place at Lifestyle Centurion Mall at 9h00 on Saturday, 4 May 2019.
Mopani District Municipality
The Mopani District Municipality Fire and Rescue Services will be celebrating International Fire Fighter’s Day on 3 May 2019 at the Tzaneen Fire Station. The celebrations will include a parade, which will start at the Tzaneen Show Grounds and travel to the Tzaneen Fire Station at 9h45. The programme is as follows:
Fire and Rescue International salutes all first responders for their passion, commitment and dedication to save lives and property. Thank you for your service!
Cell: 082 371 0190
Fire and Rescue International is your magazine.
Read it, use it and share it!
Tel: 011 452 3135 or Fax: 086 671 0190
Managing director and editor
Cell: 082 371 0190
PA to MD
Design and production department
Pierre du Plessis