Firefighters across the UK will hold a minute’s silence at 12:00 midday on Tuesday 4 May for Firefighters’ Memorial Day, in memory of more than 2,300 firefighters who have died in the line of duty.
Firefighters and control staff will stand outside their stations and workplaces and sound their sirens as they hold a minute’s silence for the fallen firefighters, including two serving UK firefighters who have lost their lives to coronavirus over the last year.
A new website for the FBU’s Red Plaque scheme will be launched on the day, allowing the public to view memorial sites across the UK honouring fallen firefighters and to apply for future Red Plaques.
The FBU’s Red Plaque scheme is funded by the Firefighters 100 Lottery and allows firefighters, communities and the family and friends of those lost to pay tribute to fallen heroes, and to provide a place of reflection and memorial for all time.
Users of the website will also be able use an interactive map of the UK to learn about the incidents that claimed the lives of firefighters.
The most recent Red Plaque to feature on the website is dedicated to five firefighters who lost their lives when a bomb struck their fire station in East London during WWII, which was unveiled at Lansbury Lawrence Primary School in September 2020.
On Tuesday 4 May, Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, will lay a wreath at the National Firefighters’ Memorial at St Paul’s, London, on behalf of the FBU. He will be joined by FBU president Ian Murray and on-duty firefighters from Islington Fire Station.
The event will be live-streamed to the FBU’s social media channels for the public who are unable to join in the commemoration in person due to the ongoing coronavirus restrictions.
Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said:
“Firefighters risk their lives every day to keep others safe from danger. Sadly, we have lost colleagues along the way and their bravery deserves to be remembered and honoured.
“Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, firefighters have gone above and beyond to help their communities through the crisis. Tragically, over the last year we have lost two to this awful disease. We remember them and hold their family, friends and colleagues in our thoughts.
“Firefighters Memorial Day is a day to pay tribute to our fallen heroes, but it’s also a day to reaffirm our commitment to fight for the safety of all firefighters. All too often, these tragedies could and should have been prevented and lessons must be learnt to ensure that no more names are added to the firefighters’ memorial.
“By taking this day to reflect on our fallen brothers and sisters, we keep their memory alive and ensure their sacrifice is never forgotten. Today, with this minute’s silence, we honour them.”