Central Bedfordshire Council paid tribute to the county's emergency services and the NHS this morning (Thursday) during a flag raising ceremony to mark Emergency Services Day, which is also known as 999 Day.
The aim of Emergency Services Day (#999Day) is to educate the public on the correct and responsible use of the emergency services, and to promote voluntary and paid positions within the services.
Representatives from the fire services, the police and the East of England Air Ambulance were among those in attendance at the flag raising ceremony at Central Bedfordshire Council headquarters at Chicksands, along with the Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Simon Sadler, the Chairman of the Council, Cllr Brian Saunders and the Chief Executive of Central Bedfordshire Council, Marcel Coiffait.
Following the short ceremony, which included a bugler playing rendition of Reveille and the Last Post, the ‘Emergency Services’ prayer was read out by Cllr Saunders.
He said: “Knowing that we can call on our wonderful emergency services and the NHS in times of crisis is so important to all of us.
"We have a responsibility to do what we can to support this community and to remember their efforts to keep us safe. We also need to pay tribute to the many volunteers, without whom, the emergency services could not operate effectively.”
#999Day was launched in 2017, founded by Tom Scholes-Fogg and designated as an official day by Prime Minister Theresa May.
The date chosen was 9th September, or 9/9. The emergency services that are celebrated on this date are the fire service, police, NHS and ambulance services, and all of these are invited to get involved in the event.
Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue attended three flag raising ceremonies in Bedford, Central Bedfordshire and Luton to remember those who have given their lives to the local services.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Alison Kibblewhite attended the Bedford Borough Hall flag raising ceremony.
She said: “I’m delighted to have been able to attend the emergency services day ceremony alongside our partners include the Bedfordshire Police and Mid-Shires Search and Rescue Teams.
"999 Day is a great opportunity to be able to promote responsible use of the emergency services as well as reaching out to those who may be considering a possible career with one of our teams.”
Events tied to this day of celebration such as Open Days, also aim to promote emergency services charities and their efforts, as well as campaigns that are being run by the services to raise awareness of preventative measures.