McKevitt calls for day to recognise emergency services
SDLP MLA for South Down Karen McKevitt has said there should be an annual day of recognition for our emergency services.
“It is vitally important that we recognise the brave members of our emergency services by paying tribute to the valuable and life-saving work they do.
“The best way we can do this is by having an annual day of recognition. It would be a suitable marker of the essential work they do. I would suggest an appropriate date would be Michaelmas Day on the 29th September.
“This day would also put in place a lasting legacy to the hugely successful World Police and Fire Games. The games featured almost 7,000 retired and current competitors across 56 sports at 41 venues, with 3,500 volunteers ensuring this was described as ‘the friendliest games ever’.
“Many spectators took the opportunity to cheer for participants from across the World. These spectators were there in support of those that undertake such brave and life-saving work.
“I believe all of us at some point in our lives need the support and assistance of the emergency services. The 999 emergency services celebrated its 76th birthday this year. Up to 10,000 emergency calls are made in Northern Ireland each week,” she revealed.
“The dedication of a special day in honour of all the dedicated and brave emergency workers, combined with a campaign to highlight the obscenity of making a hoax call, or attacking responders will help educate anyone thinking of carrying out such an offence.
“In having this dedicated day we would be honouring members of the PSNI, the Fire and Rescue Service, Ambulance Service, the Coastguard, RNLI and Mountain Rescue and all other search and rescue bodies.
“We have a real opportunity to celebrate the sacrifice of everyone who devotes their lives to protect others as well as ensuring the success of the 2013 World Police and Fire Games lives on.
McKevitt added, “Our ‘Blue light day’ on 29th September is a real way of honouring the emergency services and would create a great opportunity for support groups and charities.
“There would be a possibility for people to wear their Blue light badge with proceeds going to support worthy emergency causes. This is the kind of fitting tribute our emergency services workers deserve.”
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