For the first time, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation joined the global celebration of firefighters on May 4, 2020. This day of recognition is at the core of what the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) does. Our mission is to honor and remember America’s fallen firefighters, to assist their families in rebuilding their lives, and to prevent firefighter injuries and deaths.
Born out of a tragic loss of five firefighters in a wildfire in Victoria, Australia, International Firefighters’ Day was a way to honor their lives and the sacrifice that firefighters are willing to make for us on a daily basis. “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,” said Lieutenant JJ Edmondson, Founder of International Firefighters’ Day.
This International Firefighters’ Day we came together to celebrate firefighters worldwide and thank them for their service. Whether you lit your home in red, made thank you signs, or watched special tributes online, you let firefighters know how much they mean to our communities. Through your generous support of the Foundation’s #Give2NFFFNow campaign, you also helped Fire Hero Families and firefighters impacted by line-of-duty deaths and this global pandemic.
Nearly 500 families across the United States joined the NFFF for our Shine Your Light for Firefighters, which asked members of the community to light their homes in red to show their support for firefighters. U.S. fire departments, public buildings, corporations and families in Canada and the United Kingdom also joined the movement. We thank everyone who participated, shared in their communities, and sent photos of their tribute.
In addition to sharing light during these dark times, kids and adults sheltering at home during the pandemic worked together to create and share a firefighter thank you. Heartfelt notes, drawings, and art projects also celebrated the tireless work of our community heroes. These simple acts of kindness helped boost everyone’s spirits and let our firefighters know that they matter. The Foundation has created a special Facebook group so you can share a thank you anytime you wish and invite others to join us in acknowledging the important work of firefighters in the community.
On the evenings of May 4th and 5th, vocalists Tyler Braden and Craig Wayne Boyd sang live from their homes in special performances on our NFFF Facebook page. Their music not only entertained us at the end of a long day, but it also helped bring us together in hope. We sincerely appreciate Tyler and Craig’s support of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and for firefighters everywhere and thank them for sharing their talents with us.