The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation will join in the celebration of International Firefighters' Day that began on May 4, 1999 following five Australian firefighters dying in a wildland fire.

Since that time, International Firefighters’ Day has been held each year on May 4 to recognize the work and sacrifice of firefighters across the globe in keeping their communities safe. 

Since March 2020, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) said over 30 fire and EMS responders have succumbed to COVID-19. Every firefighter who makes the ultimate sacrifice is one too many, and countless others suffer from physical, mental and emotional injuries. For the NFFF, honoring fallen firefighters, supporting the families of firefighters that died in the line of duty and preventing line-of-duty deaths and injuries is the foundation’s mission. 

“Our communities are made stronger by the dedication of firefighters and nowhere is it more evident in their response to COVID-19,” says Chief Ron Siarnicki, Executive Director of NFFF. “Join us in thanking firefighters for their service as they work the front lines of these troubling times.”  

The NFFF has provided some ways community members can say thank you to a firefighter and help the foundation celebrate International Firefighters’ Day:

•Share a Firefighter Thank You: A simple act of kindness is sometimes all it takes to brighten someone’s day and let them know that they matter.  To show your appreciation for those keeping us healthy and safe, the foundation invites kids and adults to draw, color and share your thank you with the foundation by emailing a photo of your artwork to photos@firehero.org. The NFFF will share your works of art on its website and social media on May 4 to raise spirits and celebrate firefighters everywhere. 

•Shine Your Light for Firefighters: New this year, the NFFF is asking members of the public to light their homes in “red” on May 4-5 to celebrate International Firefighters’ Day. The NFFF ask that families share their story on social media using #ShineYourLight4Firefighters.

•Be Fire Safe: With many of us at home more than ever, the NFFF said it is a good time to think about home safety. Activities such as developing fire escape plans keep both families and firefighters safe. Learn more on home fire safety tips at NFFF and the Everyone Goes Home® program “Be a Hero, Save a Hero” App at https://www.beaherosaveahero.org/download-hero-save-hero-app/. 

•#Give2NFFFNow: On May 5, 2020, the NFFF will mark #GivingTuesdayNow as #Give2NFFFNow.  This global day of giving will help the NFFF honor America’s fallen fire heroes, assist their families in rebuilding their lives, and to prevent firefighter injuries and deaths.