National First Responders Day Date in the current year: October 28, 2024

National First Responders Day National First Responders Day is celebrated annually on October 28. It was created to show appreciation for the men and women who are the first to deal with emergency situations and to honor the memory of first responders who died in the line of duty.

First responders are people with specialized training who are among the first to arrive and provide assistance on the scene of an emergency, be it an accident, a natural disaster, or an act of terrorism. First responders usually include law enforcement (police) officers, paramedics, EMTs (emergency medical technicians), and firefighters. 911 dispatchers are often considered first responders, too.

First responders dedicate their lives to saving the lives of others. They are highly skilled professionals who are not afraid to face the danger and put their own lives at risk. Hundreds of American first responders die every year in the line of duty, paying the ultimate price for their dedication to the job, and it is essential to recognize their sacrifices and the stress they are under.

The roots of National First Responder Day can be traced back to 9/11. After the world’s most devastating terrorist attack at the time, there were initiatives to designate a national day celebrating first responders, but they didn’t find enough support.

A movement to honor all first responders in the United States was reignited following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. After being identified, the terrorists responsible for the explosion shot Sean Collier, an officer of the MIT Police Department, in an attempt to steal his sidearm. Sean’s brother Andrew started a campaign to raise awareness about the importance of first responders and have it recognized at a national level.

Collier’s campaign prompted lawmakers to take notice, and a group of senators and representatives called for establishing a national day of recognition honoring first responders. A resolution designating October 28, 2019 as National First Responders Day was passed by the United States Senate, but it got “held at the desk” at the House of Representatives.

On October 28, 2019 – the day the first National First Responders Day was supposed to be celebrated – All Clear Foundation, a non-profit supporting first responders, launched an online petition calling for a National First Responders Day. Although the holiday still didn’t have an official status as of 2022, it has been observed by first responders, their families, and relevant organizations every year since the introduction of the petition.

The celebration of National First Responders Day involves ceremonies, fundraisers, social media campaigns, and other events and activities that aim to recognize first responders and honor those who gave their lives while saving others. You can observe the holiday by expressing gratitude to first responders, spreading awareness on social media, donating to an organization that supports first responders and their families, signing up for a CPR course, or even starting training to become a volunteer community first responder.

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National First Responders Day, professional holidays, observances in the United States, first responders