Commemorating International Fire Fighters’ Day: Thursday, 4 May
This upcoming week will see fire fighters across the world commemorate International Fire Fighters’ Day (IFFD). IFFD 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 are 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.
The colours red and blue are also 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.
Submit your IFFD commemoration photos and videos for inclusion in the weekly newsletter. We'd love photos to represent ALL fire fighters, ie municipal, urban, rural, wildfire, volunteer, career, industrial, petro-chemical, marine, defence force, aviation etc.
Fire and Rescue International salutes all fire fighters’ for their passion, commitment and dedication to save lives and property. Thank you for your service! RESPECT!
Quote of the week “The role of a fire fighter in today’s society, be it urban, rural, natural environment, volunteer, career, industrial, defence 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
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