Last May saw the UK mark its first ever Firefighters’ Memorial Day to commemorate the bravery and sacrifice of those who lost their lives in the line of duty. Thousands of firefighters, bereaved families, supporters and well-wishers observed one minute’s silence at midday at fire stations. There was an outpouring of support on social media, with many users changing their profile picture to the FBU memorial badge and sharing pictures of memorial events.
This year the Firefighters Memorial Trust, supported by the FBU, is hoping for even more activity to commemorate the 2,524 members of the fire and rescue service who have died while protecting the public.
The day means a lot to the loved ones of fallen firefighters. Dave Faust’s son, Billy, lost his life alongside colleague Adam Meere tackling a fire in Bethnal Green, East London in 2004. He says the day brings much comfort to his family. “It means an awful lot to us to know the union and fire brigades are remembering the people they have lost,” he says. “It is a really, really great thing – not only for families but for the firefighters themselves and the service.”
Let’s make this year’s Firefighters’ Memorial Day one to remember. Here are some ideas on how to mark the day.
GET YOUR MP TO SIGN EDM 1115
Write to your MP asking them to sign EDM 1115 – Firefighters’ Memorial Day, 4 May 2018. It calls for all Parliamentarians to attend their nearest fire station and take part in the minute’s silence at midday. Find all the resources you need to do this here.
SHOUT OUT ON SOCIAL MEDIA
A video promoting this year’s memorial day has been put together and members are asked to share it with family and friends through social media.
WEAR YOUR MEMORIAL LAPEL BADGE
To mark this year’s Memorial Day, every member has received a newly designed FBU memorial lapel. These are for members to wear in respectful remembrance of fallen comrades. The badge was sent out with the most recent edition of Firefighter magazine.
THE FIREFIGHTERS’ STORY:
100 years of the Fire Brigades Union tells the story of the FBU from its inception in 1918 up to the present day and illustrates how the union and firefighting have changed over 10 decades. The film has already been shown at events in London, Bristol and Glasgow and the union is urging members to organise further screenings across the country. Register your interest in organising a showing of the film here.
GET PEOPLE INVOLVED
This year, a number of fire services will organise open days at stations with a one-minute silence as the centrepiece. An important aspect of the day is to enable local communities to honour their firefighters. Getting members of the public, as well as retired and off-duty firefighters, along to local fire stations for the midday silence is a wonderful way to mark the day.