Emergency services day, known as 999 day, usually takes place on 9 September annually to pay respect to some of the most important and valued workers in the country.
The day, which was launched by a serving police officer who wanted to recognise the work of his colleagues, has been held in the UK for the last five years.
So, just what is the history of 999 day, how is it celebrated and how can you get involved in the celebrations?
Here’s everything you need to know.
What is emergency services day?
Emergency services day, which is also known as 999 Day, is a national day across the UK.
It was created to promote the work of the emergency services, as well as educate people about basic lifesaving skills, and promote the career and volunteering opportunities available from within the emergency services.
The day has always been supported by Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Majesty King Charles III , the Prime Minister and First Ministers of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
When is emergency services day?
999 day usually takes place every year on 9 September.
This means that in 2022 the day was due to fall on Friday 9 September.
However, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday 8 September, the organisers of the day announced that the day had been postponed.
The day will now be celebrated on Wednesday 19 October.
What are the emergency services?
The emergency services are organisations which ensure public health and safety by dealing with different emergencies.
There are three main emergency services that can be summoned directly by the public by calling 999.
They are the police, the fire service and the ambulance service.
Volunteers also are an essential part of the emergency services family and they play a core part in keeping Britain safe.
999 volunteer roles include special constables, retained firefighters, NHS community responders, St John ambulance, RNLI, search and rescue and coastguard volunteers.
What is the history of emergency services day?
Emergency services day was first celebrated in the UK in 2017.
The day was founded by Tom Scholes-Fogg, a police officer, who decided to launch the day after a conversation with his grandad, a former police sergeant.
His grandad told him “in this country we don’t look after our emergency services as much as we should.”
He decided to campaign for emergency services day in 2016 after finding that, unlike other countries, the UK had no national annual day to honour and promote the work of the NHS and emergency services.
Tom Scholes-Fogg said: “We had a hugely successful Armed Forces Day, but nothing for our NHS and 999 heroes, this despite there being 10 times more people serving in the NHS and emergency services than our armed forces.”
The day was launched the following year with the support of then Prime Minister Theresa May, the late Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III, who was then the Prince of Wales, and Prince William.
Scholes-Fogg added: “A simple conversation between a grandfather and a grandson led to the creation of the UK’s ‘999 Day’. It’s good to talk.”
What celebrations are taking place for emergency services day?
Every year, numerous events take place across the country to mark emergency services day.
Members of the emergency services are encouraged to fly an official emergency services day flag above their workplace or home.
At 9am on th there is also a two minutes’ silence to remember all who have been killed as a result of their service in the emergency services.
A major 999 Day media and social media campaign also takes place on 9 September which aims to give thanks to the millions of people who work and volunteer across the NHS and emergency services.
You can get involved in the campaign using the hashtag #999Day across various social media platforms.