Seamus O’Neill, a retired school principal never forgot the support local Frontline Service workers gave to his school.
“We’d had no money in the school and the army and the guards used to play football matches to fundraise for us. So in 2013 I was looking around and there was nothing in the State that recognised the work that the emergency and security services were doing.”
He decided to do something about it. He pulled together volunteers from all the Frontline Services to form a non-profit organisation: FESSEF. Their mission would be to create events for the public to show their appreciation, while fostering greater collaboration between their services.
In 2021 FESSEF was restructured and rebranded as National Services Day.
National Services Day
Every day, the frontline, emergency and security personnel of Ireland work tirelessly to keep the citizens of the State safe – often in challenging circumstances. Despite this, the average person rarely gets to meet the people doing this work outside the working environment and the frontline, emergency and security services rarely are provided with the opportunity to thank the public for their support and assistance.
National Services Day has been working hard to provide the public with opportunities to help foster better relationships to show the services appreciation for the support of the public and thank them for their continuing support.
At some point in their life every Irish person has been helped by frontline, emergency and security service staff. The National Services Day has created a much-needed focal point for the frontline, emergency and security services to acknowledge their appreciation to the public.
National Services day is organised each year by FESSEF (Frontline Emergency & Security Services Éire Forum), an entirely volunteer-led effort.
In 2018, National Frontline Services Day was formally declared by the then Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar T.D., who said:
“It was my honour and privilege to announce last April that the first Saturday in September will be ‘National Frontline Services Day’. As members of the Frontline Emergency Security Services you have served and continue to serve every citizen in the country with unrelenting dedication, professionalism. You are an integral part of the fabric of every community and the lifeblood of civic engagement when danger presents.On this first ‘National Frontline Services Day’, I would like to thank all members of the Frontline Emergency and Security Services. the People of Ireland will always be indebted to you”.
– Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar T.D. September 1st 2018
National Services Day Voluntary Board/Committee
Aiden joined the FESSEF committee in 2013 and had responsibility for coordinating the participation of Civil Defence in National Services Day events. He then took on the role of events manager in 2014.
Darryl works in the National Ambulance Service as the Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer for Cork and Kerry. He still works clinically as an Advanced Paramedic. Darryl has been helping with the National Services Day since 2016. He is also a member of the Irish Red Cross and currently holds the chair of the Quality Committee.
Turlough joined FESSEF in 2015 and has responsibility for coordinating ’Dublin Airport Police & Fire Service’ participation in National Services’ Day events.An Operations Officer in the NAS by day, Mark led the development of National Services Day events in Galway in September 2021, a first for the west of the country. Turlough has been a committee member since 2015 and has been involved various roles throughout. In 2018 he took on the role of Parade and Events manager and has recently joined the Board of National Services Day as Treasurer.
Owen Medland joined the FESSEF committee in its founding year of 2013 and has fulfilled a number of roles over the years including secretary and spokesperson.Owen is responsible for the RNLI participation in National Services Day. In his day job as an Area Lifesaving Manager Owen supports the safe operational delivery of the RNLI’s lifesaving service in Ireland South East.Passionate about the promotion of the work of Ireland’s services personnel, staff and volunteers. Owen shall support the National Services Day Gala Dinner in 2022
PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER
Joining the FESSEF committee in 2017, Mark was responsible for coordinating the National Ambulance Service Community First Responder (CFR) Volunteers. Mark currently acts as the Secretary to the Board. An Operations Officer in the NAS by day, Mark led the development of National Services Day events in Galway in September 2021, a first for the west of the country.
PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER
Barney Malone joined FESSEF in 2018 and has responsibility for coordinating Revenue Customs Service’s participation in National Services Day events. Barney has been a committee member since 2018 and has recently joined the National Services Day Board in the role of Public Relations Officer.
CEREMONIAL PLANNING & EVENTS COORDINATOR
Michael has responsibility for coordinating the Irish Prison Service participation in National Services Day events, with a focus on for Ceremonial Planning and Events Coordinator on behalf of the Board.
SOCIAL MEDIA & EVENTS COORDINATOR
Fergus Works in the National Ambulance Service as an Ambulance Officer for Fleet, Estates and logistics. Fergus join the FESSEF team in 2016 as the National Ambulance Service representative on the FESSEF committee. Fergus is also a proud volunteer with the Irish Red Cross and is currently is the Assistant Area Director of Units for Louth.