Pike County Ohio Firefighters Association

Proudly Serving Pike County Firefighters Since 1976.

How We Got Here

The first meeting of The Pike County Firemen’s Association was held on Wednesday January 28, 1976 at Waverly Fire Department with fourteen firefighters present. The second meeting of the Association was held at Beaver Fire Department on February 24, 1976 with 23 members present. It was voted at this meeting to change the name of the Association from The Pike County Firemen’s Association to The Pike County Firefighters Association.

 

History Of The Creation Of The Firefighter

When the Lord was creating firefighters, he was into his sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared and said, "You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one." And the Lord said, "Have you read the specification on this person? Firefighters have to be able to go for hours fighting fires or tending to a person that the usual everyday person would never touch, while putting in the back of their minds the circumstances. They have to be able to move at a second's notice and not think twice of what they are about to do, no matter what danger. They have to be in top physical condition at all times, running on half-eaten meals, and they must have six pairs of hands." The angel shook her head slowly and said, "Six pairs of hands...no way." "It's not the hands that are causing me problems," said the Lord, "it's the three pairs of eyes a firefighter has to have." "That's on the standard model?" asked the angel. The Lord nodded. "One pair of eyes to see through the fire and where they and their fellow fire fighters should fight the fire next. The second pair here in the side of the head to see their fellow firefighters and keep them safe. And the third pair of eyes in the front so that they can look for the victims caught in the fire who need their help." "Lord," said the angel, touching his sleeve, "rest and work on this tomorrow." "I can't," said the Lord, "I already have a model that can carry a 250-pound man down a flight of stairs to safety from a burning building, and can feed a family of five on a civil service paycheck." The angel circled the model of the fire fighter very slowly; "Can it think?" "You bet," said the Lord. "They can tell you the elements of a hundred fires and can recite procedures in their sleep that are needed to care for a person until they reach the hospital. And all the while they have to keep their wits about them. Fire fighters also have phenomenal personal control. They can deal with a scene full of pain and hurt, coaxing a child's mother into letting go of the child so that they can care for the child in need. And still they rarely get the recognition for a job well done from anybody, other than from fellow firefighters." Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the fire fighter. "There's a leak," she pronounced. "Lord, it's a tear. What's the tear for?" "It's a tear from bottled-up emotions for fallen comrades. A tear for commitment to that funny piece of cloth called the American flag. It's a tear for all the pain and suffering they have encountered. And it's a tear for their commitment to caring for and saving lives of their fellow man!" "What a wonderful feature.” Lord, you're a genius", said the angel. The Lord looked very somber at the angel and said, "I didn't put it there."

History Of Sant Florian

Saint Florian, the patron saint of firefighters, was an officer in the Roman army during the third century. Saint Florian had converted to Christianity but kept his new faith a secret to avoid persecution. When ordered to execute a group of Christians during the persecutions of Diocletian, Saint Florian professed his faith and refused to follow the order. He then had a stone tied around his neck and he was thrown into a river where he drowned.  Florian is said to have once stopped an entire town from burning by throwing a single bucket of water onto the fire. Saint Florian is the patron saint of firefighters, chimney sweeps, barrel-makers, soap boilers, harvests, Austria, Poland and others.

History Of The Bagpipe Tradition

The tradition of bagpipes played at fire department funerals in the United States goes back over one hundred fifty years. When the Irish and Scottish immigrated to this country, they brought many of their traditions with them. One of these was the bagpipe, often played at Celtic weddings, funerals and ceilis (dances).

It wasn't until the great potato famine and massive Irish immigration to the East Coast of the United States that the tradition of the pipes really took hold in fire departments. Factories and shops had signs reading "NINA"-No Irish Need Apply. The only jobs they could get were the ones no one else wanted -jobs that were dirty, dangerous or both - fire-fighters and police officers. It was not an uncommon event to have several firefighters killed at a working fire. The Irish firefighters funerals were typical of all Irish funerals-the pipes were played. It was somehow okay for a hardened firefighter to cry at the sound of pipes when his dignity would not let him weep for a fallen comrade.

Those who have been to funerals know when bagpipes play how haunting and mournful the sound of the pipes can be. Before too long, families and friends of non-Irish firefighters began asking for the piper to play for these fallen heroes. The pipes add a special air and dignity to the solemn occasion.

Associated with cities such as Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Chicago, pipe bands representing both fire and police often have more than 60 uniformed members. They are also traditionally known as Emerald Societies after Ireland-the Emerald Isle. Many bands wear traditional Scottish dress while others wear the simpler Irish uniform. All members wear the kilt and tunic, whether it is a Scottish clan tartan or Irish single color kilt.

Today, the tradition is universal and not just for the Irish or Scottish. The pipes have come to be a distinguishing feature of a fallen hero's funeral.

 

History Of The Maltese Cross

The Maltese cross is known around the world as a symbol of the fire service. It is often seen painted on fire trucks, on the clothing of firefighters, depicted on firefighters badges, and is quite often the chosen design of firefighter tattoos. So where did the Maltese cross come from, and how did it get to be known as a symbol of the fire service?

The Maltese cross is named after the island of Malta, which came to be the home of the Knights of St. John. The Knights of St. John existed during the 11th and 12 centuries. The armor worn by the Knights covered their entire bodies as well as their faces. Because of this it was often difficult for the knights to recognize one another during battle. They realized they would need some type of symbol that could be used to quickly and easily identify them selves. They chose the Cross of Calvary, which would later be known as the Maltese cross. During the Crusades, the enemies of the nights commonly used fire as a weapon. It was quite common for a Knight to have to risk his own life to save another Knight or extinguish a fire.

The Knights of St. John were also known for their care of the sick and injured. Combined with their abilities to fight fires, and the pride and honor they took in their work, the Maltese cross seems a fitting symbol of the modern fire service. Firefighting is a proud profession, and only a symbol of pride would exemplify the work of a firefighter.

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Tuesday, Sep 26 at 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
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