Emergency service staff celebrate '999 day'

By Jessica Durston - 9 September 2021

Community

Wiltshire Police say today is dedicated to showing some appreciation for the selflessness of all emergency service staff, past and present.

It is estimated that more than 2 million people work and volunteer across the emergency services and NHS today, including volunteers, without whom the emergency services could not operate effectively.

There are six main branches to the emergency services including Police, Fire and Rescue, Ambulance, NHS, Coastguard and Lifeboats and Search and Rescue.

Staff within these services carry out a whole range of vital jobs across the UK including answering emergency calls, practicing medicine, fighting fires, working behind the scenes in enabling services, policing the streets and saving lives at sea, on mountains, lowlands and caves.

A spokesperson for Wiltshire Police said: "The last 18 months have been particularly challenging for us all and we have seen our Emergency Services having to work even harder, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help protect and keep you all safe and well."

Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said: “999 day is an opportunity for us all to reflect on our emergency service providers across Swindon and Wiltshire, both past and present. 

“I am immensely proud and grateful to be surrounded and supported by officers and staff who work tirelessly to protect local communities and never hesitate to attend sometimes life-threatening emergencies. Occasionally, my officers must make swift, lifesaving decisions and often put themselves in danger in doing so. I want to thank all my work force - operational, staff and volunteers for their hard work and dedication in demonstrating the true meaning of public service.

“Thank you to all our partner agencies and colleagues across the emergency service teams who play a part to serve our communities and keep people in Swindon and Wiltshire safe from harm.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson furthered these sentiments: “We owe a huge debt to our emergency service workers - putting their lives on the line every day to keep us safe. Somehow just saying ‘thank you’ doesn’t seem enough.

“The immense pride and deepest gratitude I have for all frontline workers cannot be measured. Public service is more than a job, it’s a way of life.

“Those in public service never think they are doing anything out of the ordinary, but they are. Their extraordinary sacrifice, courage and determination to make our communities safer every day can never be under-estimated and, for that, I send my heartfelt thanks.”

Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of Wiltshire Council added: “The last 18 months have been exceptionally challenging for staff working in our emergency services, who have had to adapt to the ever-changing situation presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, but have continued to work throughout to keep our residents safe and care for them in emergency situations.

“Wiltshire Council is proud to work alongside all of the emergency services operating in Wiltshire and we celebrate and thank all frontline staff for their dedication and the work that they do to protect people and save lives.”

Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, Mrs Sarah Troughton said: “I am delighted to join many others in celebrating the fantastic work done by our Emergency Services in Wiltshire and Swindon on this National Emergency Services Day 2021.

“Wiltshire Police, Dorset and Wiltshire Fire Services and the South Western Ambulance Service play a vital role in keeping us all safe, and on behalf of the Wiltshire Lieutenancy may I thank everyone very much indeed for their important roles in the different organisations, and for their contribution to our county.”

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