The Northern Ohio FOOLS currently have a 20 man Honor Guard. “The Guard” represents firefighters at parades, public functions, ceremonies, and final call ceremonies for our fallen brothers and sisters.
To date, “The Guard” has performed 50 Final Call ceremonies as of January 2020, with 4 of them being Line of Duty Death’s (LODD) and 5 of them being our own Northern Ohio FOOLS Members. Our mission is to ensure the traditions of the fire service, and to ensure that No Brother Goes Alone. Full military-style honors are accorded to those who die in the line of duty.
Each year the guard participates in a minimum of 3 local parades carrying our countries colors along with the firefighters’ flag as well as our chapter flag. The colors are accompanied by two members carrying custom made parade pick-axes.
The Bell was purchased through a donation of fine men with a respect for their fallen Brother. Although these men are not firefighters, they witnessed their Brother being laid to rest with Honor, Pride, and Tradition. This inspired these men to donate over $2000.00 to the Northern Ohio FOOLS to fund the purchase of our sacred ceremonial bell in honor of their Brother, Jim Tucker. This bell bears the name on Brother Tucker along with our motto, “Honor Our Fallen”. Each “Final Alarm Ceremony” the bell is rang out for is memorialized by having the name of the Brother Firefighter inscribed into the base. The names will forever follow this symbol of Tradition, and be there to Honor Brothers when they respond to their Last Alarm. These Brothers are with us, and assist us in carrying out our duties.
The fire service of today is ever changing, but is steeped in traditions 200 years old. One such tradition is the sound of a bell.
In the past, as fire fighters began their tour of duty, it was the bell that signaled the beginning of that day’s shift. Throughout the day and night, each alarm was sounded by a bell, which summoned these brave souls to fight fires and to place their lives in jeopardy for the good of their fellow citizen. And when the fire was out and the alarm had come to an end, it was the bell that signaled to all the completion of that call. When a fire fighter had died in the line of duty, paying the supreme sacrifice, it was the mournful toll of the bell that solemnly announced a comrade’s passing.
We utilize these traditions as symbols, which reflect honor and respect on those who have given so much and who have served so well. To symbolize the devotion that these brave souls had for their duty, a special signal of three rings, three times each, represents the end of our comrades’ duties and that they will be returning to quarters. And so, to those who have selflessly given their lives for the good of their fellow man, their tasks completed, their duties well done, to our comrades, their last alarm, they are going home.
The Flag & Bunting
The Northern Ohio FOOLS have an aerial flag that can be flown from a single truck or dual truck set-ups for special events and firefighter funerals. The flag measures 20’X50’ and includes the flybar and associated hardware.
In addition, the Northern Ohio FOOLS also have bunting to display on apparatus during firefighter funerals. There are 4 sets of bunting and each set consists of 3 pieces, one for the front and one for each side of the apparatus.
The bunting is available upon request of our honor guard or can be borrowed separately.
Engine 1 is a 1947 American LaFrance pumper that was retired from the Norwalk Fire Department. It features a 12 valve aircraft motor that has 2 carburetor and ignition systems for redundant starting to ensure its crews would be responding to the call when the alarm dropped. Engine 1 is now maintained and operated by the Northern Ohio FOOLS for special events, parades and is equipped with casket rollers for funeral services of our fallen brothers and sisters.
C-61 has a special meaning to our membership and it can be seen in many different places within our chapter from our logo, member-only apparel and more. The C-61 does not represent our chapter number but is rather cataloging nomenclature that was spray-painted on the beam that was recovered from the World Trade Center and is now part of the September 11th memorial at the Huron County Firefighters memorial.