Celebrated annually on September 9, 999 Day is also an opportunity for charities to fundraise and raise awareness, and for emergency services departments to engage with their communities.
It was created quite recently, in 2016, so many still find themselves wondering when the special occasion is, why it was established, and how it is celebrated.
Did you know: 🇬🇧 has had an Emergency Services Day since 2016. @999Day takes place on 9th September.#999Day is honoured to have the support of:
HM King Charles III; HRH The Prince of Wales; the Late Queen Elizabeth II; the 🇬🇧, NI, 🏴 & 🏴 Governments;
all emergency services. pic.twitter.com/55cS4vIWAJ
— Emergency Services Day - 9 September (@999Day) June 3, 2023
When is Emergency Services Day?
The day also aims to promote using emergency services responsibly, educate the public on lifesaving skills, and promote careers in the services.
It was founded by police officer Tom Scholes-Fogg, who wrote: “In 2016, I began looking into ways the UK honoured emergency services personnel and those killed as a result of their service. I was astonished to discover that unlike other countries, the UK had no national annual day to honour and promote the work of the NHS and emergency services.
“We had a hugely successful Armed Forces Day, but nothing for our NHS and 999 heroes, this despite there being 10 times more people serving in the NHS and emergency services than our armed forces.”
How is Emergency Services Day celebrated?
Local emergency service departments across the UK will celebrate 999 Day by hosting events for their communities, while councils may fly the 999 Day flag in honour of their first responders.
Some emergency departments may also choose to host a minute’s silence in honour of the workers who died in the line of duty at 9am on September 9.
A social media campaign will also take place on September 9, with participants encouraged to use the hashtag #999Day.
Organisers say that the media campaign “promotes the aims of 999 Day and encourages people, local authorities, businesses and the community to promote and give thanks to the millions of people who work and volunteer across the NHS and emergency services”.