What is 999 Day? Emergency services honoured on national day

By Elaine McCallig

Emergency service workers and NHS staff are being honoured today as part of the UK’s Emergency Services Day, or 999 Day.

The day is a government-backed event which encourages people to pay tribute to the almost two million people who work and volunteer across the NHS and emergency services.

The day is marked with 999 Day flags being raised across the UK at 9am to mark the ninth hour of the ninth day of the ninth month, followed by two minutes’ silence to remember the more than 7,500 members of the emergency services killed in the line of duty over the past 200 years.

Emergency services across the nation have this morning participated in the event to thank their colleagues for all they do.

The day’s main event was due to take place in Belfast but due to the pandemic this had to be cancelled. Belfast will host the event in 2022, Wales in 2023, England in 2024, and Scotland in 2025.

Aside from showing appreciation, the day aims to educate the public about using emergency services responsibly, promotes emergency services charities, and highlights the many different career and volunteer roles in the emergency services.

Politicians have also taken the opportunity to thank emergency service personnel, including prime minister Boris Johnson, and first ministers of Scotland and Wales Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford.

Speaking about 999 Day, 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.”

Emergency Services Day was founded by Tom Scholes-Fogg in 2016.

Scholes-Fogg 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.”

Here is a glimpse at some of the ways the day was marked across the nation:

Thank you, from all of us.


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