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Hello Everyone-

Given the positive response that the Fire Service has given to call for a return to "teaching tradition," I thought it would be a good idea to have a site dedicated to the "details" of our history. Combined with Rick Lasky's group, "Pride and Ownership," we collectively have the necessary elements to instill pride and knowledge into our firefighters, particularly the newest probies.

Post a comment or a question and let's get the ball rolling!

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Brother Glenn,

What a great group and a great topic. I absolutely love this stuff. It's what we're all about, how we got it all started, why we do what we do and more. If you're in to the job at all this is where you have to start.

Glenn I can't wait for this to get rolling becuase I learn so much from you each time we visit.

Thanks for doing it buddy and I'm in for sure pal!

Be safe and love ya brother.

Hi Brent-

Thanks forposting. Keep an eye on Rick Lasky's group, "ride and Ownership." He has touched on the ceremony issue as well.

Could you suggest a simple ceremony (to start) to your COD? I'm sure we can get some pointers from the people on this group who were in the same boa.

Well, you've got friends here, Brother. As they say, "this too shall pass..."
Who says the chief has to start the tradition? I am a chief and when I wasn't I tried some things like T-shirts and social functions. While my department does hold a special ceremony for promotions and appointments. We also swear in our volunteers at our annual open house in front of the citizens and families. At out annual holiday dinner we give service awards and a FF of the year award which is determined by a vote of the members based on nominations of the officers.
Many of our neighboring departments (all 100% career) have the tradition of members off duty attending the town/city board meeting to support a brother being promoted. Perhaps you could start a tradition of holding a small cake and coffee reception either at the fire station or some other local facility to support a new or promoted brother or sister? In vite the chief. Some time you have to let your ideas become thier ideas.
Great point Drew! Some times you need to feed the dragon if you will and see where it goes. I think a lot of bosses want to do some of it, they just don't know how to get it started. All they can do is try and see if it flies with the Admin. Some times it will. some times it won't. Like Glenn said earlier, this too shall pass, and some times it takes a little patience.

Be safe pal.

I would be interested in getting the oaths taken by officers and firefighters during the swearing in email is

Stay Safe Brothers

Your Canadian Brother

The beautiful thing about tradition is that it can tell you where you are going by knowing where you've been. I love the traditions of the American Fire Service; I'm the bagpiper for my dept. and my heart aches for those that have no tradition within their organization. To them I would say, "learn the traditions and work at breathing life into them within your dept; you'll be glad you did." You have no idea what you're missing. Stay safe.

Email me at and I will send you what we use.

Be safe,

Okay, here is the million dollar question... Does anyone know of a book that discusses firehouse traditions? I haven't been able to find anything yet. I would love to have something that would explain the "why" behind the things we do. Any suggestions? -Shane

We have recommended a few books - Romance of Firefighting (1950's) , Heritage of Flames (Cannon, 1970's) , and Fire in America (NFPA, 1970's) as three out of print texts that give a good deal of history with traditions buried inside. A couple other out of prints: As You Pass By (Dunshee, 1950's) and "Our Firemen: A History of the New York Fire Departments" (Costello; 1880's reprinted about 6 years ago ), also have good info, specifically about the NYFD and FDNY (they are different!).

A great place to get these books is or on Ebay. You shouldn't pay more than $20 each. If you see higher prices, pass on them.

These are great places to start. Traditions are woven in the pages of these books. For example, where does the term "run" come from? You'll find it in "Our Firemen".....

Enjoy, Brother!

This is very interesting that I am reading this tonight. We just got done with a "discusion" with one of our bosses. Of all the issues we have, it was about meals at the firehouse. WTF. I sit here and wonder about all the tradition we had that seems to be slippling away with new policies and verbal rules that aren't even written down that they are bringing down on us. It gets very hard at times to remember why I am here. I look forward to future postings in this group to help me get some of that back. I believe tradition is a word that gets thrown around alot but it really is what you need to have to maintain your passion and focus of what we're all about, why we are really here. Thanks for listening.

It's ironic that your "discussion" took place in the kitchen - probably the place where more tradition has been handed down than anywhere else. Don't sweat it, Brother - keep you head up.



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