As part of the International Firefighters’ Day, which was observed on May 4, participating CFA brigades joined other firefighting agencies from around the world in a ‘sound off’ at 12 noon local time. The sounding of the fire siren for 30 seconds represented a mark of respect to the dedication, commitment and sacrifices of firefighters everywhere.

The sound off provided all involved with the opportunity to reflect on the sacrifice of firefighters who have lost their lives in the past 12 months, particularly those who paid the ultimate price in the September 11 tragedy in New York.

Clyde-Cardinia Brigade was one of the brigades that participated this year. Officers and members were joined at the fire station ceremony by representatives of Cranbourne Group and members brigades, also representatives from CFA, MFB, NRE, Transfield Fire and Rescue, Police, Metropolitan Ambulance Service and members of the community.

Guest were welcomed to Clyde Fire Station by Lieutenant JJ Edmondson, who organised and co-ordinated the event.

The ceremony included a minute’s silence and those in attendance were invited to place a piece of evergreen at the base of the flag pole, this having been lowered to half mast by Captain Ken Blencowe.

During the ceremony CFA Chaplain Ian Cartmel spoke of the role and commitment of firefighters, the value of International Firefighters’ Day and the sound off, and St Florian, the Patron Saint of Firefighters.

Other speakers included Deputy Chief Officer Geoff Evans who recited the Fireman’s Pledge and Region 8 Operations Officer Kevin Pettit who read the Fireman’s Prayer.

Firefighters Christine Henderson read a moving poem to the gathering which she had written as tribute to a firefighter friend who was killed in New York on September 11 last year.

International Firefighters’ Day is observed annually on May 4. The day is tribute to past firefighters who have died while serving their community or dedicated their lives to protecting the safety of all. At the same time, it represents a show of support and appreciation to firefighters world wide who continue to protect their respective communities so well.

Photo 1: Lieutenant JJ Edmondson describes the significance of International Firefighters’ Day

Photo 2: Captain Ken Blencowe lays a sprig of evergreen at the base of the flag pole as a mark of respect to firefighters who list their lives in the line of duty.

Source: The Fireman, Australia.