Over the last 18 months, the UK’s emergency services have gone over and above the call of duty, working on the frontline to help communities through the coronavirus pandemic. Today, on Emergency Services Day, we have the opportunity to reflect and thank our fire community – and all our blue light services – for their hard work and dedication.

999 Day, as it’s also known, celebrates the work of our blue light services, NHS staff and others, and this year their achievements are all the more extraordinary.

Firefighters across the UK have been on the frontline of the fight against Covid-19, helping to drive ambulances to assist paramedics, calling vulnerable residents to check on them during national and local lockdowns, moving medical supplies and PPE, helping on the national roll-out of the vaccine and much, much more – many of whom have done so on top of their normal roles.

One LFB firefighter who joined in this incredible effort was Uzair Yaqoob, who volunteered to drive ambulances for his emergency services colleagues. You can read his story here.

Now today is an opportunity to show our support to the two million people working and volunteering in the emergency services.

Dr Jill Tolfrey, Chief Executive of The Fire Fighters Charity, says: “It has been incredibly humbling to see how fire service personnel across the UK have united and stepped up to help their emergency service colleagues throughout the pandemic. It is therefore great to come together again, on this day, to thank our blue light services for the way they have supported their communities over the last 18 months, and in the way they continue to do so.

“Our job, meanwhile, is to support them when they need help. So, I would also like to take this opportunity to remind our fire and rescue service family that, should they need help with their own health and wellbeing, we are here for them.”

The national day was founded in 2016 and is supported by the Royal family, including our patron, Her Majesty The Queen.

At 9am there will be a two-minutes’ silence to remember all those emergency service staff who have lost their lives as a result of their service to our nation. Please join with us in taking this time for reflection, and in thanking all our emergency services for the incredible work they do.