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On this day, several communities and organisations across the world come together and raise awareness about the dangers that firefighters face

International Firefighters' Day 2021: History and significance of occasion honouring contributing of firefighting experts

Representational image. AP

The International Firefighters’ Day is celebrated on 4 May every year. The day is observed to honour the work and sacrifice made by firefighting experts. This special day is marked to pay respect to those professionals who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

As a day to remember and celebrate, people wear a symbolic red and blue ribbon badge to raise awareness about the danger firefighters face. This gesture by people is to express their gratitude for the firefighters.

History and significance

The International Firefighters’ Day was established following a tragic incident that took place in Australia’s Linton Town. The sad incident happened on 2 December, 1998, where five firemen were killed while trying to douse a wildfire.

The five firefighters were identified as; Garry Vredeveldt, Chris Evans, Stuart Davidson, Jason Thomas, and Matthew Armstrong. They were part of a strike team and were rushed in to attend an SOS call. The men, who moved in with equipment, were caught in when a sudden strong raging fire engulfed the firefighting vehicle. Sadly, all of them died battling the fire.

Post this tragic incident, a letter was sent out to all countries to honour firefighters and others who lost their lives while on duty, on 4 January, 1999.

However, 4 May was chosen as it is also celebrated as Saint Florian’s Day all over the world. St Florian was the first commander of a firefighting squad in the Roman era. He too lost his life while on duty.

On this day, several communities and organisations across the world come together and raise awareness about the dangers that firefighters face.



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