International Firefighters’ Day (IFFD) is observed on May 4 each year to honor the 1998 sacrifice of five firefighters in tragic circumstances in a wildfire at Linton in Victoria, Australia.
On this date you are invited to remember the past firefighters who have died while serving our community or dedicated their lives to protecting the safety of us all. At the same time, we can show our support and appreciation to the firefighters world wide who continue to protect us so well throughout the year.
Firefighters dedicate their lives to the protection of life and property. Sometimes that dedication is in the form of countless hours volunteered over many years, in others it is many selfless years working in the industry. In all cases it risks the ultimate sacrifice of a firefighter’s life. International Firefighters’ Day (IFFD) is a time where the world’s community can recognize and honor the sacrifices that firefighters make to ensure that their communities and environment are as safe as possible. It is also a day in which current and past firefighters can be thanked for their contributions.
By proudly wearing and displaying blue and red ribbons pinned together or by participating in a memorial or recognition event, we can show our gratitude to firefighters everywhere. The IFFD ribbons are linked to colors symbolic of the main elements firefighters work with – red for fire and blue for water. These colors also are internationally recognized as representing emergency service.
A special time to stop and reflect on the sacrifices made by firefighters is held on the first Sunday in May at noon local time each year when fire sirens sound for 30 seconds followed by a minute’s silence in memory of, and respect for, all firefighters who have been lost in the line of duty or passed on before us. This is known as the “Sound Off“.