British firefighters have sent a message of solidarity to their Italian counterparts and released a video singing Bella Ciao, an Italian protest song.
The video, which has gone viral on social media, features frontline staff from across the UK and regional and national Fire Brigades Union (FBU) officials.
Four firefighters have died of coronavirus in Italy, most recently firefighter Giuseppe Coco in Catania.
Bella Ciao, means “goodbye beautiful”, and originated in the early 19th century as a song sung by paddy field workers in protest against harsh working conditions.
Opening the video, Riccardo La Torre, FBU national officer, says in Italian: “Brothers and sisters of the Italian Fire Service. This is a short message from FBU firefighters and control staff in the UK. The fire service family is a family without borders. At this incredibly difficult time, we send you all our hearts’ strength, love, hope, and this song! We stand with you always. Solidarity.”
Closing the video, Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, says in English: “Greetings from the Fire Brigades Union to firefighters, particularly in Italy, but firefighters all across the world.
“To health workers on the frontline and, indeed, to workers everywhere in the face of this terrible crisis. Stay strong, stay well; look after each other and look after our communities. Above all, stand together. Solidarity. Solidarieta.”