999 Day: Heroic emergency services honoured for life-changing work

9 September 2021, 01:14 | Updated: 9 September 2021, 01:16

Emergency services are recognised for their hard work.
Emergency services are recognised for their hard work. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Heroic workers in the emergency services are being honoured for their life-changing work on 999 Day.

The national celebration - also known as Emergency Services Day - recognises both NHS and 999 workers for their hard work.

It is estimated that approximately two million people either work or volunteer across the six main branches: Police, Fire and Rescue, Ambulance, NHS, maritime and Search and Rescue - according to the event's site.

However, there have also been lives lost in the line of duty too, with over 7,500 members of UK emergency services having been killed in the last 200 years.

At 9am, a two minute silence is set to be observed in memory of those who served the nation.

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Why is it celebrated?

The purpose of the day - which takes place every 9 September - is to promote NHS and 999 heroes who have served over the years, while also educating the public on potentially life-saving skills.

It also gives the services the opportunity to engage with communities and build trust with those they help in society.

Multiple volunteering opportunities available across 999 services are brought into the spotlight during celebrations as well, with relevant campaigns given attention.

How was it introduced?

The first Emergency Services Day was celebrated in 2017, supported by previous Prime Minister Theresa May.

Tom Scholes-Fogg, founder of the national celebration, took inspiration from Armed Forces Day after discovering there was no annual day to honour those in emergency services.

He presented his plans for the day to Downing Street in which he secured their backing.

Since then, the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William have all shown their support for the event, with Prince William visiting first responders every year.