The Council were joined by partners from the East of England Ambulance Service, Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue, Bedfordshire Police, Midshires Search &Rescue, the MP for Bedford & Kempston and the High Sheriff.
The event opened with a short welcome from Mayor Dave Hodgson, followed by a reading of the Emergency Services Prayer of Thanksgiving by Garry Forsyth, Chief Constable of Bedfordshire Police. After the reading, the 999 Day flag was raised over Borough Hall and those in attendance participated in a two-minute silence to remember the emergency services personnel killed or injured in the line of duty in the last 200 years.
Bedfordshire Police’s Chief Constable Garry Forsyth said: “It was an honour to read the prayer of thanksgiving in admiration of our emergency service workers. This past year has been extremely hard for us all, especially our emergency services. Our colleagues in the Ambulance and Fire and Rescue services have continued to work during the pandemic to ensure we are safe and in doing so have put their own safety on the line. I would like to thank every person who serves in the emergency services for the sacrifices they made to make our county a safe place to live and work.
“This is also a time to remember all of the emergency staff who have died in the line of duty during the pandemic, as well as those both here and around the world who have lost their lives to coronavirus.
“Policing changed dramatically over the past 18 months, our demand shifted to helping in the fight against the virus and ensure that the people of Bedfordshire were not only safe from crime, but keeping others safe by staying indoors and socially distanced. I’m tremendously proud of how the force overcame and adapted to maintain our service of protecting people and fighting crime, together with our partners.”
Alison Kibblewhite, Assistant Chief Fire Officer at Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue, said: “I’m delighted to have been able to attend the emergency services day ceremony alongside our partners include the Bedfordshire Police and Mid-Shires Search and Rescue Teams. 999 Day is a great opportunity to be able to promote responsible use of the emergency services as well as reaching out to those who may be considering a possible career with one of our teams.”
A Midshires Search and Rescue Spokesperson said: “We are honoured to have been invited to stand alongside our partners in Ambulance, Fire and Police, to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in keeping us safe. We especially remember the volunteers within the Emergency Services family and those that they left behind.”
The 999 Day flag was raised at 9am on 9 September 2021.