International Firefighters Day
International Firefighters Day is celebrated every year on May 4th. It began in 1999 as a response to the tragic deaths of a group of Australian Firefighters. On December 2nd 1998 there was a large wildfire that took the lives of Garry Vredeveldt, Chris Evans, Stuart Davidson, Jason Thomas, and Matthew Armstrong when their empty water tanker was engulfed in flames after a sudden change in wind direction. The event struck a cord with another Australian Volunteer Firefighter who made a resolution to get a day dedicated to both the firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty and those still alive and fighting the good fight.
May the 4th was chosen because it also happens to be the celebration of Saint Florian who serves as the Patron Saint of firefighters. A Roman solider who is considered to be one of the first fire fighters, legend goes that he once saved an entire burning village with a single bucket of water.
Marking the Day
Now that you know that May 4th is IFFD what can you do to mark the occasion? Well, the main symbol of IFFD is a blue and red ribbon so you can show your support by wearing or displaying this ribbon. You could also display a Firefighter remembrance flag or a flag with the firefighter logo on it. You can even do something as simple as a moment of quiet reflection to remember these everyday heroes who constantly put their lives on the line.