Ahead of Emergency Services Day (Saturday 9 September) those who work for the National Health Service and other emergency services have been honoured by an official flag-raising event at Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council's Lagan Valley Island headquarters.

Emergency Services Day - also known as 999 Day - promotes the work of the emergency services and educates the public about how to use them responsibly. It is also an opportunity for communities to thank the 999 services for the life-saving help and support they provide twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.

The Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Councillor Andrew Gowan said: “It is with immense gratitude that we commemorate Emergency Services Day. It gives us the opportunity to pause, reflect and show our support for the heroic people working for the NHS and emergency services – and the many volunteers who help deliver this vital work. In doing so, they all help to keep us safe and provide vital assistance in times of need.

“Emergency services and their teams support more than 148,965 people who live within the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council area. Their quick actions have saved the lives of many. We are particularly proud of Air Ambulance, headquartered in Lisburn, which provides pre-hospital critical care to people right across Northern Ireland and the border counties.”

“All of our emergency services continue to respond with remarkable resilience and compassion, and we are grateful that this incredible level of support continues. As Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, I would like to offer a heart-felt ‘thank you’ on behalf of all our residents to the amazing emergency services personnel in our Council area and right across the UK who continue to work under unprecedented pressure to keep the country safe.”

There are six main branches of the emergency services: police; fire and rescue; ambulance; NHS; maritime (Coastguard and Lifeboats); and search and rescue (mountain, lowland, mine and cave).

To commemorate this special day, flags will be raised across Northern Ireland on Saturday 9 September from government, emergency services and local authority buildings.

As part of the event, a two-minute period of silence was observed to remember the 7,500 members of the emergency services who have been killed in the line of duty over the last 200 years.

Approximately two million people work and volunteer across the NHS and emergency services in the UK. Many are volunteers, without whom the emergency services could not operate effectively. The annual day is also used as an opportunity to raise awareness of the many career and volunteering opportunities available.