Shine your light for firefighters on May 4th NFFF celebrates international Firefighters’ Day

EMMITSBURG, Md.,– On May 4, 2020, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) will be joining in the celebration of International Firefighters’ Day which began on May 4, 1999, after the deaths of five Australian firefighters in a wildland fire.  Since that time, International Firefighters’ day is held every May 4th to recognize the work and sacrifice of firefighters across the globe in keeping their communities safe. We encourage the media to highlight the great stories of their local firefighters so the general public can appreciate the important work of the fire service.

Since March 2020, reported from various outlets across the country, over 30 fire and EMS responders have succumbed to COVID-19.   Every firefighter who makes the ultimate sacrifice is one too many. Countless others suffer from physical, mental, and emotional injuries.  For the NFFF, honoring fallen firefighters, supporting the families of firefighters that died in the line of duty, and preventing line-of-duty deaths and injuries is our daily mission. We know how far the value of a simple “thank you” stretches for both firefighters and their families. 

“Our communities are made stronger by the dedication of firefighters and nowhere is it more evident in their response to COVID-19,” says Chief Ron Siarnicki, Executive Director of the NFFF. “Join us in thanking firefighters for their service as they work the front lines of these troubling times.”  

Here are some ways to say thank you to a firefighter and help us celebrate International Firefighters’ Day:

  • Share a Firefighter Thank You: A simple act of kindness is sometimes all it takes to brighten someone’s day and let them know that they matter.  To show your appreciation for those keeping us healthy and safe, we invite kids (and adults) to draw, color, and share your thank you with the NFFF by emailing a photo of your artwork to  We will share your works of art on our website and social media on May 4th to raise spirits and celebrate firefighters everywhere. 
  • Shine Your Light for Firefighters: New this year, the NFFF is asking members of the public to light their homes in “red” on May 4-5 to celebrate International Firefighters’ Day. We ask that families share their story with us on social media using #ShineYourLight4Firefighters.
  • Be Fire Safe: With many of us at home more than ever, it is a good time to think about home safety. Activities such as developing fire escape plans keep both families and firefighters safe. Learn more on home fire safety tips at NFFF and the Everyone Goes Home® program “Be a Hero, Save a Hero” App at
  • #Give2NFFFNow: On May 5, 2020, the NFFF will mark #GivingTuesdayNow as #Give2NFFFNow.  This global day of giving will help the NFFF honor America’s fallen fire heroes, assist their families in rebuilding their lives, and to prevent firefighter injuries and deaths. 

About the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF)

The United States Congress created the NFFF to lead a nationwide effort to remember America's fallen firefighters. Since 1992, the non-profit foundation has developed and expanded programs to honor fallen fire heroes and assist their families and co-workers. The NFFF also works with the fire service to help prevent and reduce line-of-duty deaths and injuries. For more information on the Foundation and its programs, please visit

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