How to Thank Firefighters for Their Public Service

Every May 4, communities everywhere celebrate Firefighter Appreciation Day in honor of the crucial public services provided by firefighters in their lives. However, it’s worth celebrating this valuable job at any point in the year! Firefighting is tough work — and dangerous, too. There’s been lots of evidence that shows firefighters experience higher rates of certain types of cancer than the general population, thanks to their exposure to high temperatures and particles such as dust, ash and smoke. Here are some ways you can thank the firefighters in your community this year! 

firefighter uniforms hanging up

Bring Them Dinner to the Station. Many firefighters cover 12-hour shifts or longer while they’re on the job. And, because they often find themselves having to run out for calls, they aren’t always able to cook meals in the station kitchen. Show your appreciation by bringing them dinner to the station on Firefighter Appreciation Day! Try to cook things that will last for a few days and will feed a crowd — casseroles, lasagna, soup. The possibilities are endless. Don’t stop there, though. Bring each firefighter their own personalized firefighter gift as a special way to say thank you. 


Write Them a Thank You Note. Sometimes, all someone needs to hear is “thank you.” Thank you notes are perfect because you can have a whole group put them together! Whether your church group, the kids’ soccer team or even your college sorority get together and write thank you notes for the firefighters in your community, those firefighters will be so thankful that you took the time to write them a thank you note. Deliver them in a pretty basket or container, or get a stack of stamps and mail them to each fire station. 

firetruck at firehouse

Volunteer to Clean the Fire Station for a Day. Looking for a way to really show your appreciation that’s outside the box? Ask if you and your friends can volunteer to clean the fire station for a day! Many firefighters have weekly and daily chores they complete while on shift. When they’re constantly sent out for calls, finding time to clean bathrooms, wipe down the kitchen or mop floors can give an added stress that many first responders don’t need. Offer to clean the fire station as a way to show them you appreciate all their hard work. It’ll be such a relief for them to come back to a clean fire station after a long call. 


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Host a Fundraiser for Them. Many localities operate volunteer fire stations. This means that the firefighters are volunteers, not paid municipal staff. These volunteers dedicate hundreds of hours into training, beyond their normal everyday lives. Since they don’t often receive funding from the city, county or town to operate, consider hosting a fundraiser for them to say thank you. Invite local restaurants to donate food or gift certificates and then sell raffle tickets or give items directly to the firehouse. If you have a volunteer fire department, then this is a great way to show them some appreciation. 

close up of firetruck and gear

Give Him an Engraved Photo Frame. If you have a special someone in your life — friend, family or even a spouse — who is a firefighter, why not get them an engraved photo frame as a way to say thank you? They can commemorate their graduation from the fire academy, a fun day on the job with coworkers or even a picture of the two of you! An engraved photo frame is a great firefighter gift for him, and he’ll love getting to display any fun, happy memories associated with his firefighter career. You could take it a step further and print out a photo you think he’ll love to give with the photo frame. It gives something a little extra to your gift because you took the step to add something special.


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Give Him a Coffee Mug. Shifts at the firehouse are long, depending on the area. Many firefighters drink coffee or tea to keep them energized during their shift. A coffee mug is a great way to show them you care! You can get one for each firefighter at the station, or you can get just one for your special person. Either way, a coffee mug is a simple yet profound gift for firefighters to say thank you and recognize the difficult job that many firefighters do every day.

Send Them for a Massage. Maybe you’re a professional masseuse. Or, maybe you have a close friend who is. Or, maybe there’s a place in town where you can get a gift certificate or convince them to donate a 30-minute massage to each firefighter at the local station. Either way, a massage is a great way to show appreciation to firefighters. Their job is stressful, both mentally and physically, so a massage is a great gift they can enjoy and get a brief moment away from all the stress.

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