People across the UK will come together today to honour those who work in the NHS and emergency services.
Emergency Services Day, also known as 999 Day, is a Government backed national day and is an opportunity for the country to pay tribute to the almost two million people who work and volunteer across the NHS and emergency services.
999 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.
Celebrations begin with 999 Day flags being raised across the UK at 9am to mark the 9th hour of the 9th day of the 9th month, followed by two minutes’ silence to remember the more than 7,500 members of the emergency services killed in the line of duty.
In addition to flag raising ceremonies taking place across the country, there is also a main national ‘open day’ style event held on the nearest Sunday to 999 Day. Unfortunately, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic meant the event which was scheduled to have been held in Belfast, was cancelled. Belfast will now host the event in 2022, with Wales hosting in 2023, England in 2024 and Scotland in 2025.
Emergency Services Day was founded by Tom Scholes-Fogg in 2016.
Speaking about 999 Day, 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.
“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.”
Tom Scholes-Fogg, Founder and Chief Executive of the 999 Day, said: “We all take the NHS and emergency services for granted. We know that when we really need help, it is there. Emergency Services Day is an opportunity for the country to say a huge heartfelt thank you to the 2 million people who put others before themselves. I encourage everybody to support our emergency services personnel all year round, not just on 999 Day.”