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INTERNATIONAL FIREFIGHTERS’ DAY (IFFD)
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INTERNATIONAL FIREFIGHTERS’ DAY (IFFD) 

INTERNATIONAL FIREFIGHTERS’ DAY (IFFD)

 

Enugu State Fire fighters need your support to succeed. 

 

By: Okwudiri Daniel Ohaa

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The Chief Fire Officer Enugu State Fire Service

 

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This years Theme: “Developing Safer and Secure Working Conditions for Firefighters”

 

The history of organized firefighting began in ancient Rome while under the rule of Augustus. Prior to that, Ctesibius, a Greek citizen of Alexandria, developed the first fire pump in the third century BC, which was later improved upon in a design by Hero of Alexandria in the first century BC.

 

While Nigerian Fire Service began in 1901, it was created by the British Government. During those years it wasn’t the Nigerian Fire service as we know it today. It was just a unit that was a part of the police department in Lagos. It offered help solving fire-related problems that happened across nearby-Lagos territories.

 

Because of this, the police office was often called Lagos Police Fire Brigade. It was a 2-in-1 department that had to fight both crime and fire until 1963 when they were separated.

 

Enugu State Fire Service was created in 1991 after the creation of Enugu State. 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.

 

On December 2, 1998, a tragic event shook the Linton Community, Australia and the world. Firefighters in Linton, Australia, a populated region in Victoria, were fighting a large bush fire and called for mutual aid. This urgent mutual aid call brought the Geelong West Fire Brigade to the scene, not knowing the despair and tragedy that was in store. Garry Vredeveldt, Chris Evans, Stuart Davidson, Jason Thomas, and Matthew Armstrong all loaded into company’s truck. They were part of a strike team and were being sent to help extinguish the flames. As the five headed into the hot zone, the wind suddenly switched direction, engulfing the truck in flames and killing all five members. This unfortunate incident is what inspired JJ Edmondson to bring about an international holiday, called International Firefighters’ Day, to support the lives lost and dedicated fire fighters who risk their lives every day to save life and property

 

Although International Firefighters’ Day originated from the deaths of five wild land fire fighters, they are not the only aspect of the service recognized. On IFFD, every person in the emergency service career gets recognized; Hazardous Materials Specialists, Fire Prevention Specialists, paid firefighters, volunteer fire fighters, wild land fire fighters, heavy equipment operators/mechanics, Emergency Medical Technicians, and many more. Some of these jobs may seem insignificant; however, without all sectors of the emergency department services working together one would not hold up without the other; therefore, resulting in International Firefighters’ Day to be a time to celebrate everyone who serves in the emergency services.

 

International Firefighters’ Day (IFFD) is a time where the world’s community can recognise and honour 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.

 

International Firefighters’ Day is an annual event observed every 4th of May. On this date, people are invited to remember the past firefighters who have died while serving their community or dedicated their lives to protecting the safety of us all. At the same time, people can show support and appreciation to the firefighters world wide for their efforts towards saving lives and property.

By proudly wearing and displaying blue and red ribbons pinned together or by participating in a memorial or recognition event, people can show their gratitude to firefighters everywhere.

 

The IFFD ribbons are linked to colours symbolic of the main elements firefighters work with – red for fire and blue for water. These colours also are internationally recognised 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 lost their lives in the line of duty or passed on before us. This is known as the “Sound Off.“

 

Enugu State Firefighters need your support to succeed, we need your accurate and timely information to trace and respond to Rescue operations or fire outbreaks promptly. Always give right of way to all firefighting trucks and vehicles attending to rescue or fire related emergencies. Install suitable and functional fire extinguishers in your homes and offices. You can encourage firefighters by calling to thank them for a job well done or by writing appreciation letter.

 

Help firefighters to make our environment safe and God bless you as you celebrate firefighters all over the world.

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Contents provided and/or opinions expressed here do not reflect the opinions of The Pacesetter Frontier Magazine or any employee thereof.

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