Hundreds of firefighters from around the world will attend a high profile ceremony of thanksgiving in Staffordshire this weekend.
"This international event is not only to say ‘thank you’ to the firefighters who are currently in active service but is also an opportunity to honour our colleagues who have sacrificed their own lives while trying to save others."
Chief Fire Officer Peter Dartford
The Annual International Service of Thanksgiving will take place at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas on Sunday, May 11.
The Firefighters Memorial Trust will host the event, which starts at 11.30am, with the support of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Chief Fire Officers, including Peter Dartford who leads the Service in Staffordshire, will attend along with Fire Minister Brandon Lewis and dignitaries including Deputy Chairman of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Authority Kath Banks.
Serving and former firefighters, their families and friends as well as members of the public are invited to the ceremony.
For the first time ever they will be joined by the National Fire Cadets from Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire.
The young people will march with the Standards as well as providing a guard of honour during the laying of the wreaths. They will also lay a wreath on behalf of the National Fire Cadets.
The Band of the West Midlands Fire Service will perform along with the Pipe Band of the West Midlands Fire Service.
Chief Fire Officer Peter Dartford said: “It is a great honour to welcome firefighters from across the world to Staffordshire for this very special ceremony of remembrance and thanksgiving.
“Firefighters save lives on a daily basis and face some extremely challenging situations from wildfires that can threaten entire communities and beyond to house fires and road traffic collisions. This international event is not only to say ‘thank you’ to the firefighters who are currently in active service but is also an opportunity to honour our colleagues who have sacrificed their own lives while trying to save others."