To the Editor:
The Rhode Island State Association of Fire Fighters (RISAFF) would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the brave men and women of Rhode Island’s fire service, in recognition of International Fire Fighters’ Day that was observed May 4.
This day of recognition was established in 1999 following the tragic deaths of five firefighters in Linton Australia, and is now celebrated across the globe. St. Florian, widely acknowledged as the patron saint of firefighters. As such, this date was chosen for the celebration of International Fire Fighters’ Day. We encourage everyone to take a moment to www.firefightersday.org to learn more about the history of the day’s origin.
Here at RISAFF, we proudly boast the membership of 1,600 of Rhode Island’s bravest, and we felt it appropriate to highlight this occasion. The dedication of RI firefighters is second to none. While many different circumstances have brought us together we all share a common bond, a bond which doesn’t exist in any other profession. We help people during some of the most tragic, emotional, and life-changing events of their lives, and we are proud to respond whenever we are called.
Your Rhode Island firefighters always make a difference, even when not on duty. Our involvement in the community is extensive, and most events and actions we undertake generally do no garner much attention. Many would prefer it that way, however on this day we would like to recognize at least a few of these incredible yet unmentioned efforts.
For instance, RISAFF is honored to be involved in the MDA “Fill The Boot” Campaign every year, which in 2016 raised nearly $250,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Our association with RI “Pink Heals” has done fantastic work on behalf of cancer awareness, and our annual “Tunnel to Towers 9/11 Memorial Event and 5K” (coming again in September) recognizes all those lost and affected by the tragic events of that day.
In closing, we at RISAFF humbly ask that you take a moment think of your firefighters. Please know that we are always here for you, many times in ways you may never know. Finally, to our members, we thank you for allowing RISAFF to play a role in advocating for your health, safety, and well-being. Most importantly, we ask that you remain vigilant and stay safe in the performance of your duties, while representing and practicing the finest traditions of the fire service.