Tuesday was a momentous day for firefighters across the Show-Me State.
Governor Jay Nixon proclaimed April 17th, 2012 as Firefighters' Day in Missouri during a ceremony in the State Capital in Jefferson City.
The day was designated to salute the efforts of Missouriâ??s 23,000 firefighters during 2011 which was a year filled with natural disasters for Missouri.
The ceremony called attention to the importance of mutual aid and departments working together in times of need.
"Obviously it's a great honor to be recognized by the governor and the state for the work that we do on a day to day basis I'm very proud to be a citizen of Missouri and a member of the fire service community," said Joplin Fire Chief Mitch Randles.
At the ceremony, Randles took the time to thank all the departments that responded and provided assistance following the May 22, 2011 tornado in Joplin. He said he will be forever grateful.
"It was very important to thank those who came to us in our darkest hour. I haven't had the opportunity to do the thank you that I should have done months ago due to our rebuild and recovery efforts. So when this event came up, I thought where more appropriate to start the thank you process than here," Randles said.
The devastating EF-5 tornado that went through Joplin last year caused the deaths of 161 people and injured more than 1,000. 119 Missouri fire and rescue services responded to assist the town in the aftermath of the tragedy.