Dear Firefighters, friends and supporters of firefighters,

It is that time of year again where we stop to honour the dedication, commitment and sacrifice of firefighters worldwide.

Last Sunday (the first Sunday in May), was the International Firefighters' Day (IFFD) Sound Off. The sound of a siren rang over many communities and fire departments worldwide at noon (local time) for 30 seconds preceeding a minute's silence in memory of all firefighters who have made the ultimate sacrifice or passed on. This year fire stations and departments across the world including across Australia to Malaysia, North America, Peru, South Africa and the Middle East stopped for a minute to honour those lost.

Today, May 4th, is International Firefighters' Day (IFFD) (and it is also the feast day of the Patron Saint of firefighters, St Florian) - a day when many people will be able to reflect on the amazing dedication and commitment of firefighters and fire workers in all fire services and countries. It is also a day when communities can celebrate and thank their firefighters by wearing the IFFD symbol - a blue ribbon pinned over a red ribbon (representing the elements we work with - water and fire).

Take a moment to stop and thank a firefighter, their family or their colleagues in the fire organisation this week. If you're a firefighter take time to thank a fellow firey, one or more of your mentors (perhaps they have retired or moved on from your fire organisation) or even a firey from a different organisation, service or country. Today with modern communication we can touch the lives of people on the other side of the world so why don't you send a greeting card or forward this message and thank them for their dedication?

Firefighters the world over may wear different uniforms and utilise different equipment however we all have some common traits - we put our lives on the line in the protection of life and property and to protect our communities. Being a firey means that you are part of a very close brotherhood - and an amazing family.

In the words of an amazing verse I once found:

When you mix training and dedication you're called a PROFESSIONAL
When you mix compassion and caring you're called a FRIEND
When you mix bravery and selflessness you're called a HERO
When you mix all three you're called a FIREFIGHTER.


To all firefighters the world-over - THANKYOU! Please take care of yourself and your crew in your battle against fire and in the protection of others.

JJ

International Firefighters Day (IFFD) - May 4

Sound Off in their Honour - the first Sunday in May
Wear your blue and red ribbons in support of firefighters - May 4th