Friday, 4 May 2018

4th May: International Fire Fighter's Day

International Firefighters’ Day is observed each year on 4th May.

International Firefighters’ Day (IFFD) is a time where the world’s community can recognise and honour the sacrifices that firefighters make to ensure that their communities and environment are as safe as possible.

On December 2, 1998, a tragic event shook the Linton Community, Australia and the world. Firefighters 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.  Garry Vredeveldt, Chris Evans, Stuart Davidson, Jason Thomas, and Matthew Armstrong were part of a strike team.  As the five headed into the hot zone, the wind suddenly switched direction, engulfing their truck in flames and killing all five members. This unfortunate incident is what inspired JJ Edmondson,  (a volunteer Lieutenant and firefighter in Victoria, Australia,)  to bring about an international day 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.

Saint Florian, the patron saint of firefighters, is also another symbolic element to IFFD. St. Florian was a patron from Noricum, Rome in 300 AD, who was said to be one of the first commanding fire fighters of an actual battalion. As legend states, St. Florian saved an entire village engulfed in flames using just a single bucket of water. Legend also states, because of this act St. Florian is known as the protector of those who have come in danger of fire. The duties St. Florian performed for his province are the same duties that fire fighters around the world perform every day—with the same dedication and braveries.  On May 4, St. Florian is globally recognized and honored and is also known as the day of St. Florian.  Therefore, IFFD was chosen to be honored on May 4 in honor of the saint.

On 27th June, 2012  Ireland Post has issued four 55c stamps to commemorate 150th Anniversary of  Dublin Fire Brigade (DFB).  The four stamps effectively portrays the roles of fire fighters in Premises, on Chemical fire spot,  Road accidents and in Water rescue.  

One of the most significant symbols of IFFD is the red and blue ribbon.  This ribbon is cut precisely five centimeters long and one centimeter wide,  with the two separate colors conjoined at the top. JJ Edmonson chose red and blue because the red stood for the fire whereas the blue represents water.  Coincidentally, red and blue are also the colors recognized world-wide to signify emergency services

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