Firefighters pay their respects to those lost in the line of duty
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Firefighters from across the county have gathered to mark Norfolk's first Firefighters' Memorial Day, honouring those who have died during service.
The sirens rung out at Carrow Fire Station in Norwich today (Thursday May 4)in tribute to the 10 firefighters who lost their lives between 1942 and 1991.
Crew members from Earlham, Sprowston, Wroxham and Acle joined the Carrow team to pay their respects with a minute's silence and parade led by Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service's assistant chief fire officer Les Britzman.
Carl Mills has served in the fire service for more than 33 years. He was stationed at Wroxham when fellow fighter Christopher William Betts died on December 1, 1987.
He said: 'When you join the fire service you don't just join the service you join a sister and brotherhood, it is like a big family really.
'We haven't had any more deaths in the service for over 20 years, it proves firefighter safety has come a long way.'
Watch manager at Carrow Station, Stefan Rider, said: 'It's very important to recognise the ultimate sacrifice that people have made with the aim of saving other people's lives.'
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The memorial took place as part of International Firefighters' Day.
Mr Rider added: 'It is particularly important to me because our brothers and sisters across the world do exactly the same job as us for the same reason.'
There has not been the death of a crew member in Norfolk since Lee Cushing from North Walsham Station on November 5, 1991.
In a speech, Mr Britzman read out the names of all those who lost their lives, including Sam Bussey, Albert Read, Gordon Minister, Albert Hansell, Gordon Robert Dix, Herbert James Durrant, John Stuart Holman, Bruce William Henry Carter, Christopher William Betts and Lee Cushing.
Mr Britzman said: 'Every single day, firefighters around the world, men and women of all creeds, colours, religions and nationalities stand watch over their communities.
'We don't want to risk people's lives if there is nothing to be saved. We are very grateful for their sacrifice, but it is not the sacrifice we want to see. 'We'd like people to go to work, do their job then go home safely to their families.'