The sirens will be blaring along Trafalgar St in Nelson come April, but the police, fire, ambulance and rescue helicopter workers will not be rushing to an emergency, but to an event recognising their contribution to the city.
Former Nelson Leader journalist and Nelson City Council candidate Matt Lawrey has launched a new event to recognise Nelson's first responders.
Mr Lawrey said First Responders 2014 would see police, fire, ambulance, Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter and other emergency services workers parading from Miller's Acre to the Church Steps. The event is planned for April 12.
At the conclusion of the parade, the crowd will hear speeches from Nelson's mayor and MP, as well as representatives of the region's emergency services.
Mr Lawrey said there would also be a ceremony to recognise any notable achievements during the past year and to acknowledge "citizen heroes", ordinary people who had also helped to save lives.
A fundraising barbecue at the Church Steps would raise money for the emergency services.
Mr Lawrey said he came up with the idea while watching a police film. He began to think about the sacrifices emergency services personnel made.
"Unless you're a victim or need to be rescued, you never get the chance to say thank you."
He said everyone he had spoken with about the event had been enthusiastic, with many saying they had not heard of anywhere else in the country doing something similar.
"I think it would be a great look for Nelson and great for the community to come together."
If the parade was successful, it could become a biennial or annual event, he said.
Rescue helicopter chief crew man Ernie Bryant said the parade was an innovative idea.
St John Nelson ambulance officer Tracey Parks said the parade would be a good way for people to see how many volunteers the service had.
- © Fairfax NZ News