The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) will observe International Firefighters’ Day on May 4, 2022. This is a worldwide day to recognize those men and women of the fire service for their dedication to public service and bravery in keeping us safe.
The day is a chance to pause and say thanks to those who make up the worldwide firefighting ranks, from career firefighters to military, wildland, and volunteer firefighters. Those who volunteer can come from all walks of life. They could be your banker, Little League coach, teacher, mechanic, or neighbor. But all firefighters, regardless of their backgrounds, have at least one thing in common: When the alarm sounds, they answer the call of duty to save lives and protect property.
Though they serve with pride and compassion, their service can be easily overlooked or taken for granted. It’s only in times of emergencies, when we need them, that we deeply appreciate firefighters’ training and responsiveness. And for these men and women who are first responders, this has been a particularly stressful time in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many have been on the front lines, helping patients, and some themselves have succumbed to the virus.
International Firefighters’ Day is a chance to give back to those who give so much to their communities.
This day of recognition is at the very heart of NFFF’s mission of honoring and remembering America’s fallen firefighters, to help their families rebuild their lives and to prevent firefighter line-of-duty injuries and deaths.
International Firefighters’ Day has its roots dating back to 1999, when it was established to honor the lives of five firefighters who died the year before in a wildfire in Victoria, Australia, and to recognize the service and sacrifice of firefighters around the world.
The date for International Firefighters’ Day falls on the feast day of St. Florian, who was the first known commander of a firefighting squad in the Roman Empire and who is the patron saint of all firefighters. May 4 is also known internationally as St. Florian’s Day.
The NFFF invites citizens, businesses, schools, news outlets and fire departments to join with us in highlighting the heroic work that firefighters do every day.
How can you participate and honor the firefighting community?
A simple gesture of recognition can be all it takes to brighten someone’s day and let them know that they are appreciated. Visit your local firehouse and express your gratitude to the men and women who serve.
Take a moment to let your creative side bloom and draw a picture or make a colorful card. Heartfelt notes are appreciated by those who tirelessly work to keep us safe. These simple acts of kindness help boost spirits and let our firefighters know that they matter. Email a photo of your artwork to the NFFF at firstname.lastname@example.org and share it on social media with the hashtag #WeThankFFs.
NFFF asks observers of International Firefighters’ Day to light their homes in red on May 4. Share your story with us on social media using #Shine4Firefighters. If you need red light bulbs, please support the NFFF and use our Amazon Associates link.
Post on social media a picture of a firefighter who is important to you with the hashtag #ThisIsMyFirefighter. Tell us why and how they matter to you.