International Firefighters’ Day 2021: History and significance

| May 04, 2021 | Updated 9:32 am

International Firefighters’ Day 2021: History and significance International Firefighters' Day is observed on May 4- (Photo: Pexels)

New Delhi: Firefighters dedicate their lives to the protection of life and property. Sometimes that dedication is in the form of countless hours volunteered, in others it is many selfless years of working. In all cases it risks the ultimate sacrifice of a firefighter’s life. In order to honour their work, International Firefighters’ Day (IFFD) is observed on May 4.

History of International Firefighters’ Day 2021

According to International Firefighters’ Day website, May 4 is also celebrated as Saint Florian’s Day. St Florian commemorated in the Roman Martyrology was an officer of the Roman army, who occupied a high administrative post in Noricum (now part of Austria) and who suffered death for the Faith in the days of Diocletian.

His legendary “Acts” state that he gave himself up at Lorch to the soldiers of Aquilinus. After making a confession he was twice scourged, half-flayed alive, set on fire and thrown into the river Enns with a stone around his neck. Since that time, St Florian has been regarded as a patron of Poland as well as of Linz, Upper Austria and of firefighters.

Significance of International Firefighters’ Day 2021

It is a time where the world can recognise and honour the sacrifices that firefighters make to ensure that their environments are as safe as possible. It is also a day in which current and past firefighters can be thanked for their contributions.

You can remember the past firefighters who have died while serving the community or dedicated their lives to protecting the safety of all. At the same time, you can show our support and appreciation to the firefighters world wide who continue to protect us so well throughout the year.

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 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. This is known as the “Sound Off“.