May 4th (St Florian’s Day). May 4 is the feast day of St Florian, the patron saint of firefighters. St Florian was the first known commander of one firefighting squad in the Roman Empire. He lost his life, as well as those of his colleagues, for protecting the same humane ideas which firefighters all over the world share even today.
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.
International Firefighters’ Day is observed each year on 4th May. 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.
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 colours symbolic of the main elements firefighters work with – red for fire and blue for water. These colours also are internationally recognized as representing emergency service.
Firefighters in most European countries celebrate their day on 4th of May as a ‘Day of Fire Service’ as well as St Florian’s Day. This date is also known as St Florian’s Day worldwide and has been tradition for more than 150 years in Europe.
In this day, we ask you to :
- find your own way to show your support for all firefighters worldwide;
- recognize the level of commitment and dedication it takes to be ready, and willing, to serve in the face of dangerous conditions;
- remember those lost or injured in the line of duty;
May 5th : Sound Off
On the first Sunday in May at noon please Sound Off in respect of past firefighters.
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“.