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Nine police officers salute with the capitol building behind them during National Police Week 2017 in Washington DC.

Honoring First Responders in May

May 1, 2018

Honoring Those Who Serve Our Communities
America’s first responders are on the front lines working to save lives and protect communities across the nation. During the month of May, there are a number of opportunities to recognize the hard work and life-saving sacrifices of fire service, law enforcement and emergency medical services personnel.
Here is a lineup of May events to honor public safety.

May 4 marks the annual International Firefighters Day, which was first observed in 1999 after five firefighters died while trying to contain a wildfire in Victoria, Australia. It includes an international “Sound Off” on the first Sunday in May when, at noon local time each year, fire sirens will sound for 30 seconds worldwide followed by a minute of silence in memory of those who have died in the line of duty.

May 6 is National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day where everyone is encouraged to plan and participate in risk reduction and wildfire preparedness activities to make their homes and communities safer.  These efforts work to protect fire service personnel and the communities they serve.

According to First Responder Network Authority Senior Fire Advisor Mike Worrell, “This is a time to recognize the men and women who leave their families and put themselves in harm’s way to take care of others.”

May 6-12 is Public Service Recognition Week, in honor of the men and women who serve our nation as federal, state, and local government employees. Every day, public servants work to help our communities run smoothly and safely. When disaster strikes, many of these public employees jump into action as secondary responders, helping to restore utilities, reunite families and rebuild communities. Join the conversation on social media with #PSRW2018.

May 13-19 is National Police Week, which officially kicks off May 13 in Washington, D.C. Harry Marckley, FirstNet’s Senior Law Enforcement Advisor and former Assistant Chief for Phoenix Police Department, said these recognition events are important to honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for their community:

“As tens of thousands of agencies from across America descend on our Nation’s capital to honor those who’ve lost their lives through service to their community, we must remember every officer and the effort they put in each day knowing the risks the job holds,” said Markley, a 31-year law enforcement veteran. “It is humbling to be present during these events to pay respects to those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice.”

May 20-26 is National EMS Week. FirstNet Senior EMS Advisor Brent Williams said, “EMS Week reminds us that emergency medical help is available at all hours and that it is provided not only by career paramedics and EMTs, but also by thousands of unpaid community volunteers. Often, these local volunteer squads are the only EMS help for miles around.”

“We salute all EMTs but, in particular, those volunteers who give so much of themselves to protect their communities,” Williams said.

The First Responder Network Authority is honored to serve every first responder. We help responders leverage public safety technology to work safer and more efficiently in service to their communities. Especially during May, but every day, we extend our sincerest appreciation to all first responders and other public safety personnel that work to save lives and protect communities.

More from FirstNet in the video below: