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Les Davis and Maldon District Council chairman Mark Heard on Emergency Services Day
AT 9am last Thursday, in company with Les Davis, our tri-service rural community officer, I had the privilege of raising a flag at the district council offices to celebrate Emergency Services Day – also known as 999 Day.
This is an annual event in the UK and is part of the National Services Memorial, a registered charity in England, Wales and Scotland.
Its main goal is to celebrate the contribution of people who serve or have served in the UK emergency services, as well as promoting volunteering within those services.
But why is it held on September 9?
Well, 999 is the oldest emergency service phone number and it is this number that prompted the choice of the date for Emergency Services Day, so it is observed on September 9 (being the ninth day of the ninth month) at 9am.
This special day highlights and promotes volunteering across the emergency services and educates the public on essential life-saving skills, promoting the responsible use of the emergency services.
It also gives associated charities an opportunity to generate, support and raise funds.
Les Davis is the new tri-service rural community officer, representing all three emergency services.
He has been working in the Maldon and the Dengie peninsula areas of Essex and has established himself as a pivotal member of the community, making Essex safer by working and collaborating with Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, Essex Police and the East of England Ambulance Service Trust.
His role is part of a 15-month pilot between the services with the support of Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst.
Linking all three emergency services together in such a collaborative way means organisations can either directly tackle or pass on safety concerns at a very local level.
While raising the flag I was remembering many of my emergency services colleagues past and present who I encountered in my 40 years working for Essex Police and recognising the great contributions of our local heroes – police officers, special constables, firefighters and ambulance workers.
Many of these people are the first responders and they are the real life-savers. No wonder this special day is worth celebrating.
I hope you too could spare a thought and support those who put their lives on the line each day to keep us safe.
Maldon District Council chairman
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