This week firefighters around the world were in the spotlight for International Firefighters Day on 4 May.
The day came about from the loss of five firefighters in Victoria in December of 1998, which prompted another volunteer firefighter, J.J. Edmondson, to organise an international day of support and respect for all firefighters worldwide.
Her campaign was an overwhelming success and so International Firefighters Day came into being.
The first International Firefighters Day was in 1999, and the date was selected because it is the feast day of St Florian who is the Patron saint of all firefighters.
The day gives everyone the opportunity to remember firefighters who have lost their lives while serving the community and those who dedicate their lives to protecting lives and property who deserve all the gratitude we can offer them.
Chief Fire Officer Mark Spain AFSM said the Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Service has been serving the Territory for 80 years.
“The first brigade was established following the bombing of Darwin during World War II, making the NTFRS the only Australian capital city fire service to serve under enemy fire. At this present time, our thoughts are certainly with the courageous efforts of firefighters in Ukraine, their dedication and commitment is a true testament of what a firefighter is when protecting the community,” he said.
“International Firefighters’ Day is a day were we say thank you to all those members serving for the past 80 years in the NT and those continuing to serve here locally and across the globe.
“Our service is fortunate to have not lost any members while performing their duties however, we have unfortunately seen members fall from illness as a result of their exposure to hazardous materials.”
This article appeared in Tennant & District Times, 6 May 2022.