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I was wondering if anyone can point me into the right direction when it comes to the traditions of ringing the fire bell. More specifically how many rings per set, such as shift change. I am looking into ring in our new graduates into the fire service. Thanks.

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Bryan, found this on a website for you. I was in our county's honor guard for a while, and let me tell you, hearing the tolling of the bell is just about like hearing the bagpipes at a firefighter's funeral. Long before the Internet was invented, or telephones and radios were used across our great nation, fire departments used the telegraph to communicate - using special codes to receive fire alarms from those once-familiar red fire alarm boxes which stood on practically every street corner of America.

When a firefighter was killed, or in the language of the military and public safety: "fell", in the line of duty, the fire alarm office would tap out a special signal. This would be tapped out as five measured dashes - then a pause - then five measured dashes - then a pause - then five more measured dashes.

This came to be called the Tolling of the Bell and was broadcast over the telegraph fire alarm circuits to all station houses in the vicinity. Heard outside on the streets - with the fire department's windows open, the resonating echo was similar to that of fire stations of old where fire alarm gongs sounded the locations of thousands of emergencies throughout the history of our growing country.

This was done for the purpose of notification, and as a sign of honor and respect for all firefighters who had made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their communities. Such symbolism has been a time-honored fire service tradition and is repeated at each service of a fallen firefighter.
Thanks Matt,
What website did you find this information?
Bryan,

Here is a website that has the same info. that Matt shared.

http://www.kemahfire.com/traditions.asp

Cliff

Bryan Goustos said:
Thanks Matt,
What website did you find this information?

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