People across the UK are coming together today (Wednesday 9th September) to honour those who work in the NHS and emergency services as part of Emergency Services Day.
999 Day is a Government backed national day and is your opportunity to pay tribute to the two million people who work and volunteer across the NHS and emergency services, including the more than 250,000 first responders.
Emergency Services Day is aimed at promoting efficiency and educating the public about using the services responsibly; it aims to promote emergency services charities; and to highlight the many different career and volunteer roles in the emergency services.
Last year’s 999 Day saw support from Her Majesty The Queen and Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall and Duke of Cambridge.
999 Day was founded by Tom Scholes-Fogg in 2016, and takes place on 9th September, starting at 9am to mark the 9th hour of the 9th day of the 9th month.
In addition to events taking place today, there is also a main national ‘open day’ style event held on the nearest Sunday. The main 999 Day event was scheduled to have been held in Belfast this year, but the Coronavirus caused the event to be cancelled.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “It takes a very special kind of person to put your life on the line for a complete stranger. Yet that is what we see day in, day out from the remarkable men and women of our emergency services.
“You protect us from harm, deliver us from danger, and tend to us in our hours of need. And you do so without hesitation or complaint – if we dial 999, we know you will be there for us.
“I know the dedicated men and women of the Emergency services did not get into this line of work for the accolades or applause. You are heroes of British life, doing what you do not for the plaudits but out of a sheer sense of duty and a determination to serve the public.
“All of us in this country owe each of you a debt of gratitude. So, it is only right that, on Emergency Services Day, we celebrate your work and, as a nation, say a huge “thank you” for doing so much for so many.”
First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, said: “We’ve been reminded in recent months of the extraordinary contribution of the emergency services as they have been at the forefront of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s not just at these times of crisis that we depend on our emergency services, each and every day they help to ensure our safety and provide urgent care, support and treatment to those who need it.
“This Emergency Services Day, it is right that we recognise and reflect on that contribution and I want to thank all of our emergency workers for the tremendous work they have done. It is hugely appreciated by all of us.”
First Minister of Northern Ireland, Arlene Foster, said: “Those who serve in our four emergency services of police, fire, ambulance and air, sea and mountain rescue are also our friends and our neighbours who are there to help each one of us in times of extreme need or peril.
"And so many are volunteers who step up for their communities selflessly, every day. Over the last number of months as we have combated a new risk to life, we have seen our emergency services take on this task like no other. They have faced up to this challenge and provide a response that is exemplary and world-class.”
First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, said: “I am honoured to give my support to the 999 Day. With the ever-present threat of major incidents, we need to be increasingly mindful of, and indebted to, the bravery and courage of emergency services personnel who put their own lives on the line every day to protect the safety of the public.”
Tom Scholes-Fogg, Founder and Chief Executive of the 999 Day, said: “Emergency Services Day is an opportunity for the country to promote our 999 heroes – past and present. It is testament to the spirit of the UK how quickly the 999 Day has grown since I founded it just a few years ago.
"As we saw earlier this year with people clapping at their doors, the UK is united in its support for those who put others before themselves. I encourage everybody to support our emergency services personnel all year round, not just on 999 Day.”
Belfast will now host the main national 999 Day event in September 2021.