SPRINGFIELD – For International Firefighters Day, State Representative Jackie Haas (R-Kankakee) is encouraging all 79th District constituents to support local fire departments and firefighters. International Firefighters Day is a time where the world recognizes and honors the sacrifices that firefighters make to ensure their communities and environment are as safe as possible. It is also a day to thank current and past firefighters.
“Being from and a member of a firefighter family, International Firefighters Day is an important day to recognize the sacrifices these brave individuals make on a daily basis,” said Rep. Haas. “Firefighters understand the risks associated with their duties and selflessly serve despite these risks. It’s important for us to recognize their courage and sacrifices not just today, but every day. Thank you, firefighters for all you do for our communities.”
In the National Fire Department Registry, there are 27,182 fire departments listed, 70.1% being volunteer and 15.6% being mostly volunteer fire departments. In 2023, there were 27 firefighter fatalities in the United States. According to Provident, the five greatest disease risks to firefighters are heart disease, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, Hepatitis B & C, and stress.
In Illinois, four firefighters have made the ultimate sacrifice since the last firefighters’ memorial service: Chicago Fire Department Lieutenant Jan Tchoryk (Last Alarm: April 5, 2023), Chicago Firefighter Jermaine A. Pelt (Last Alarm: April 4, 2023), Maroa Countryside Fire Protection District Chief Larry Peasley (Last Alarm: January 4, 2023), and North Park Fire Protection District Firefighter Brian Rehnberg (Last Alarm: December 25, 2022).
The 2023 Medal of Honor Ceremony and the Fallen Firefighter Memorial Service will be held on Tuesday, May 9th, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. at the Illinois Fallen Firefighter Memorial in Springfield.