Fire department participation in large scale parades in the North American fire service has been a tradition for centuries. St. Patricks Day parades especially. Firefighters in Palm Beach County Florida have taken this tradition to a whole new level. Next years parade falls on Saturday, March 12th.
This years parade had 47 agencies from California to New York, to Canada, to Dublin Ireland, come participate in this international fire service parade.
The unique aspects of this years parade included - Muscular Dystrophy Association ambassador - 13 Year Old Trenton Kirchfeld led the parade as parade grand marshall in his wheel chair, 10 ladder trucks from 10 different fire departments, paired up in two's, with each set hanging a 20' X 30' flag across the straight angled parade street, for a total of 5 flags. (Two of them fire service flags, one U.S. flag, and one flag of Ireland) ... There was a large group of Firefighters on motorcycles wearing fire helmets, certified fire safety clowns that you see at the national fallen firefighter memorial, for the children at the parade, Uniformed Honor Guards, Color Guards, Pipes and Drums, Uniformed rank and file marching firefighters, banner carriers, antique apparatus, front line apparatus, speciality units, specialty groups, civilian - fire service themed floats, 50 - 60 Dalmatian dogs, fire service pre parade and post parade parties, firefighter host hotel with firefighter hospitality room, hospitality wing operated by the Fraternal Order Of Leatherhead Society, firefighter support mechanisms in place for firefighter pick ups and drop offs at area airports / hotels and hotel discounts for firefighters.
The word is out nationally and internationally for next years parade in Delray Beach. Everything described above is back in it again, but in a much larger quantity of something that was already LARGE, and some of the key highlights will include: ......... We're excited to announce that Fire Engineering Editor and FDIC Hall of Famer - Chief Bobby Halton will be here to take part in the parade and festivities. Famed actor from the hit fire service show of the 70's "EMERGENCY" Randolph Mantooth (Johnny Gage) will be taking part in the parade. The Good Year Blimp will fly over the parade with "Good Year Salutes Firefighters" flashing across the jumbo tron screen. If the Anheuser Busch - Clydesdale horses, wagon, and Dalmatian can make it down from Daytona from their bike week commitment, they'll be in it. If not, then they'll be definitely in it the following year.
Please spread the word. This is a fire service public relations bonanza, the likes of which no region has ever seen before. The bringing together of thousands of firefighters from all over the world, on one street, on one day, ... representing all the towns, cities, counties, states, and countries, all in the name of "Community Unity", is a beautiful thing. And it's a civic service that couldn't have come at a better time as far as the current international - economic instability that we're all experiencing. Once again, It's the fire service that can be relied upon for help in time of need. We're here to help. Always have been. Always will be.
For more information on the parade with regards to airports, hotels, staging areas / times, and all other support information, please visit our parade information section at:
You can also see us on Facebook at:
Please spread the word to all of your fire service contacts. This historical fire service parade falls five days before St. Patricks Day (March 17th) .... You can come down and catch a nice Florida suntan while marching in the Delray Beach parade, and still have plenty enough time to make it back for your own parades. Thank you and be safe. Captain John Fischer - Palm Beach County Firefighters
Well .... once again, the Delray Beach - International Fire Service Parade was a smashing success. MDA's Ambassador Trenton Kirchfeld graciously accepted our invitation to once again lead the parade as honorary parade grand marshal, Florida State Fire Marshal, and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater rode in the officers seat of our union fire engine, while wearing an antique Texaco style - white fire helmet, and Randy Mantooth (Johnny Gage from the hit show EMERGENCY) rode in the parade and attended the pre-parade party as well.
We had a record breaking spectator crowd of over 100,000 and we're set to break that record again next year as we will be hosting the parade ON St. Patricks Day - Saturday March 17th. Please consider coming and marching in uniform. There are lots of St. Patricks Day parades around the country. But very few are fire service themed. The Delray Beach - International Fire Service - St. Patricks Day Parade is all about the fire service. South Florida is a melting pot of American transplants from around the country, the possibility of a citizen / spectator being at the parade who grew up in their home town that your department serves, is STRONG. So come on down, march in the fire service parade of parades wearing your uniform with pride. And spread the word. Firefighter parade hospitality support information will be back up again soon on our union website: www.iaff2928.com Slainte' !!!