We came out of our homes, filled our streets and made a loud noise. In the midst of the pandemic, people of all ages clapped hands, banged saucepans and blew whistles.

We did all this to say a huge heartfelt thank you to those remarkable people of Kent, Medway and beyond who did such a remarkable job in our hospitals, care homes and other essential sectors during the crisis.

Some lost their lives in the course of their work. We remember them and those they left behind. Others still live with the lingering effects of Covid-19.

Our weekly Clap for NHS, Care and Key Workers may have stopped but THEY haven’t. Every day, they are still doing vital work.

They are just some of our unsung heroes.  There are so many more like those working for our Blue Light emergency services. Literally lifesavers.  Police, ambulance and lifeboat crews, fire fighters – our first responders who daily demonstrate remarkable courage and skill

We remember the teams behind the emergency services; for example, the call handlers who direct lifesavers to the right places as rapidly as possible.

We do not take our emergency services for granted. We must always support them. We never know when we might need them.

That’s why today – Emergency Services Day – we honour them for all they do, every day, to save lives.

Today I am pleased to join the High Sheriff of Kent in offering our county’s respect, admiration and gratitude to the special men and women to whom we all owe so much.

Emergency Services Day (999 Day)

Emergency Services Day (999 Day) is a Government backed National day across the UK which takes places on the 9th September each year.  It is our chance to show support for the selfless men and women who work and volunteer in the NHS and emergency services.

Emergency Services Day begins at 9am on the 9th September (9th hour of the 9th day of the 9th month) with two minutes’ silence to remember more than 7,500 members of the emergency services who have been killed as a result of their duties.  It is followed by the 999 Day flag being raised which includes the reading of the Emergency Services Prayer of Thanksgiving as below:

“Lord God we thank you for the selfless men and women of the emergency services. We thank you for all the resources you provide for their task and especially for the animals trained to work alongside them. We rejoice in all who work for peace and the saving of lives in danger.

We pray for those who serve in the emergency services, that you protect those whose service is our protection. May they ever receive your strength in the performance of their duty. We hold up to you those who have served in past years. We recall those who have paid the ultimate price in their task of preserving life and of upholding law and order. May all who serve or have served within the emergency service be embraced within your love both now and forever.

Grant that our nation may ever continue to show its gratitude towards those who serve within its emergency services and not take for granted the precious work undertaken.

We ask you, Lord, graciously to hear us.”

Written by Bishop Martyn Jarrett and Tom Scholes-Fogg