Today we celebrate International Firefighters Day 2023

Issue date:

Today, 4 May, is recognised around the world as International Firefighters Day. Today the United Fire Brigades’ Association (UFBA) celebrates the brave men and women who put their lives on the line to protect us from over 85,000 fires and other emergencies, every day.

Over the years, a firefighter’s role has evolved to more than simply putting out a house fire. Responding to medical emergencies has become the new normal for most brigades around the country, as well as being called out for rescues, patient extrication from motor vehicle accidents and their response to the recent flooding and weather events.

On top of this, firefighters remain a pillar of the communities that they serve, regularly attending local events, providing community education, and inspiring the next generation of volunteer and paid firefighters.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand’s frontline workforce is made up of 85% volunteer and 15% paid firefighters. All firefighters require high levels of physical and mental strength and endurance, teamwork, and quick thinking. Firefighters must be ready to respond to emergencies at any time of the day or night, in all weather conditions, and in all types of terrain. Tomorrow (5 May) the UFBA is hosting an event demonstrating all these qualities at their best, the UFBA National Firefighter Challenge is on in Wellington’s Odlins Plaza.

Today, we take a moment to remember all those who have paid the ultimate price to protect their communities. Earlier this year, Aotearoa New Zealand mourned the tragic loss of two volunteer firefighters from Muriwai, Craig Stevens and Dave van Zwanenberg. The UFBA also sends our aroha and condolences to the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.

We extend our gratitude to those who support and enable firefighters to do what they need to do; their families, employers, friends, and all the administrative support personnel.

The United Fire Brigades Association (UFBA) represents over 14,000 members in the fire and emergency services sector – and we ask Aotearoa New Zealand to join us in showing appreciation for the incredible work firefighters do to protect our communities.