Louisville Fire & Rescue Pipes and Drums
The Louisville Fire & Rescue Pipes and Drums was founded
in 1996 with the help of the Kosair Shrine Pipe band. It was made up of mainly
Louisville Fire Department active and retired members. The unit was formed in response to
the Line of Duty Death of Fire Fighter Sgt Strawn Nutter and the lack of pipers to perform
the traditional honors. Now they have expanded further to include other area Fire and
Police Departments, and really anyone who wants to learn how to play the Bagpipes and have
a good time.
The Louisville Fire & Rescue Pipes and Drums unit
provides music for parades, ceremonies, memorials, graduations, funerals, weddings and
other services throughout the Kentuckiana area. Members of the unit include active and
retired members from the Louisville Fire and Rescue, members of Jefferson County fire
protection districts, members of volunteer fire departments from surrounding counties and
Indiana, Louisville Metro Police, Federal Protective Services, civilian members who have
joined the unit as a form of community service, and junior members (i.e. 10 and under).
Although the LFRP&D maintains a performance schedule
mostly in the Kentuckiana area, the band has had members travel to California, New York,
Texas, and various other states to perform for services such as memorials and dedications.
Through the years, the Louisville Fire and Rescue Pipes and Drums have built a solid
reputation of great performances. The LFRP&D are consistently requested to perform by
the Mayors office for various Metro Louisville events and by government officials
for events through out Kentucky.
The Louisville Fire & Rescue Pipes and Drums is under the
direction of Pipe Major Carolyn H. Cook, Paramedic (retired.)
The Louisville Fire Department Tartan
The Louisville Fire Department was established June 1, 1858.
The men and women of the department have served the community through hard work,
dedication, commitment, honor and personal sacrifice. The Louisville Fire & Rescue
Pipes and Drums unit was established in 1996. This tartan hopes to be a visual
representation of what it means to be a member of the Louisville Fire Department.
The colors in the tartan reflect the colors in the everyday
uniform worn by the personnel of the department. They are a reminder of what it is to be
one of "Louisvilles Bravest".
|RED is for Courage. The courage
to answer the call, not knowing what or when.
is for Honor. The honor to serve our community, our neighbors, our family and friends.
WHITE is for Strength. The strength to go
into any and all situations.
GOLD is for Integrity. The integrity to face
each emergency and act for the betterment of our fellow human beings.
All of these colors are interwoven into a
tartan that shows strength and stability, history and tradition. They are interwoven as
are the men and women of the Louisville Fire Department. Together they make a strong
foundation for the legacy of the future.
Bagpipes at Fire
"The tradition of bagpipes being played at fire department
funerals in the United States goes back over one hundred and 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 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"
meaning No Irish Need Apply. The only jobs they could get were the ones no one else wanted
-- jobs that were dirty, dangerous or both -- firefighters 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 when bagpipes play know 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.
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
Excerpted from Ohio Fire Chief, July 1997