The Government of Canada establishes Firefighters’ National Memorial Day

News Release

August 25, 2017
Regina, Saskatchewan

As a tribute to the firefighters who risk their lives to keep Canadians safe, today, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister for Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, announced the formal establishment of Firefighters’ National Memorial Day.

Minister Goodale was accompanied by Michael Fougere, Mayor of Regina; Robert Kirkpatrick, President of the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation; Lloyd Zwack, President of the Saskatchewan Professional Fire Fighters Association, on behalf of the International Association of Fire Fighters; Ken Block, Fire Chief of the City of Edmonton, on behalf of the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs; Richard Kent, Commissioner of Saskatchewan First Nations Emergency Management, on behalf of the Aboriginal Firefighters Association of Canada; Graham Pawlett, National President of the Canadian Volunteer Fire Services Association; Serge Poulin, ‎Strategic Planning Manager of the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre.

The second Sunday in September of each year is now designated in memory of firefighters who have fallen in the line of duty. On that day, the Canadian flag will be half-masted on all federal buildings and establishments.

The Government of Canada recognizes the dangers firefighters often face when carrying out their duties, and the ultimate sacrifice of firefighters who have given their lives in the line of duty.

Firefighters’ National Memorial Day will commemorate their courage, their selflessness, and their unwavering commitment to serving our communities.


“Firefighters put their safety on the line in service to Canadians. Firefighters’ National Memorial Day will allow us to commemorate those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, and with the new grant program created in our last Budget, we will demonstrate our support for their loved ones on a national scale.”

- Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

“In honour of Canada's fallen firefighters and on behalf of their families, we are truly grateful for the proclamation to name the second Sunday of every September, the date of our annual ceremony, as ‘Firefighters National Memorial Day.’ We sincerely appreciate the efforts of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister Ralph Goodale who have demonstrated our government's appreciation of the sacrifice and commitment of firefighters in this country, and what they do for their local communities.”

- Captain Robert Kirkpatrick, president of the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Quick Facts

  • The first Firefighters’ National Memorial Day will be September 10th, 2017.

  • According to the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation, over 1,300 firefighters died in the line of duty since 1848.

  • The Government of Canada is working to support public safety officers and volunteers including Budget 2017 commitment to invest $80 million over five years, starting in 2018-19, and $20 million thereafter, for the establishment of a grant program to support the families of public safety officers who have fallen in the line of duty.


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Scott Bardsley
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Media Relations
Public Safety Canada

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