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St Florian’s Day – Honouring our FIRE FIGHTERS

Member for Bega Andrew Constance paid tribute to the amazing dedication of all serving fire fighters across our region who continue to follow in the footsteps of St Florian, the Patron Saint of fire fighters.

4 May is International Fire Fighters’ Day, or St Florian’s Day, and is celebrated by both NSW Fire & Rescue and the NSW Rural Fire Service with annual ceremonies at which members are honoured with the Commissioners’ highest awards for outstanding acts of bravery of service.

“As a community, we are enormously proud of the selflessness and dedication shown by our local fire fighters, who respond day in and day out to emergencies.

“Their bravery sets the finest example for us all, and serves as a reminder that our emergency services personnel often go above and beyond the call of duty in protecting their communities,” Mr Constance said.

“March 18, 2018 highlighted just how fortunate we are to have these outstanding service personnel that give so much to protect our lives, our homes, our businesses and our community assets.

“As a community, we witnessed first hand the dedication and selfless efforts of our fire fighters; as our local community was fleeing fire, our fire fighters were walking into the flames and I thank you all for protecting us each and every day.

Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant said firefighters go about their jobs quietly never asking for praise or accolades, but it’s important their commitment and dedication is recognised.

“Families across the state should be rightly proud of the efforts of our firefighters and I thank each and every one of them for their hard work,” Mr Grant said.

“We should never take their contribution for granted, and St Florian’s Day is our opportunity to honour them and the incredible work they do.” Media Release

Saint Florian by Francesco del Cossa, 1473

St. Florian was born around 250 AD in the ancient Roman city of Aelium Cetium, present-day Sankt Pölten, Austria. He joined the Roman army and advanced in the ranks, rising to commander of the imperial army in the Roman province of Noricum. In addition to his military duties, he was also responsible for organizing and leading firefighting brigades. Florian organized and trained an elite group of soldiers whose sole duty was to fight fires. During the Diocletianic Persecution of Christians, reports reached Rome that St. Florian was not enforcing the proscriptions against Christians in his territory. Aquilinus was sent to investigate these reports. When Aquilinus ordered Florian to offer sacrifice to the Roman gods in accordance with Roman religion, Florian refused. Florian was sentenced to be burned at the stake. Standing on the funeral pyre, Florian is reputed to have challenged the Roman soldiers to light the fire, saying "If you do, I will climb to heaven on the flames." Apprehensive of his words, the soldiers did not burn Florian, but executed him by drowning him in the Enns River with a millstone tied around his neck. His body was later retrieved by Christians and buried at an Augustinian monastery near Lorch. Later a woman named Valeria had a vision in which she saw him; Florian, in this vision, declared his intent to be buried in a more appropriate location. Source

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