|Prior to the formation of a fire department, the City of Troy and surrounding communities suffered years of devastating fire losses at many homes and businesses. Some of the businesses destroyed by fire were The Laclede Hotel, Troy Roller Mill, Trojan Hatchery, and the Trails Inn.|
In 1938 Troy voters passed a bond issue which would finance the purchase of firefighting equipment. In 1939 the City received it's first fire truck, via grant from the U.S. Government. The new truck boasted a 500 gallon per minute pump, 1,000 feet of 2 1/2 hose, 150 feet of 1 1/2 hose, wooden ladders, and axes. The truck was housed at the first fire station, located at 451 Main St. in Troy.
Troy & Rural Volunteer Fire Department was officially formed in 1949. This was also the same year that insurance regulations required there to be two fire trucks inside city limits at all times. On December 8, 1949 at a City meeting, residents donated $4,500 of the $7,000 needed to purchase an additional fire truck. The remainder of the funds were raised and the new truck delivered in April of 1950 with a final price of $8,027. With the second fire truck came the need for a larger fire station. The station was moved from Main St. to Cherry St. (near the car wash) for the next 27 years. In 1979, the Troy & Rural Volunteer Fire Department moved to 244 Firehouse Lane in Troy.
In 2008, the Lincoln County Fire Protection District #1 moved to 700 E. Cherry St. where they are located today.
The Maltese cross is known around the world as a symbol of the fire service. It is often seen painted on fire trucks, on the clothing of firefighters, depicted on firefighters badges, and is quite often the chosen design of firefighter tattos. So where did the Maltese cross come from, and how did it get to be known as a symbol of the fire service?
The Maltese cross is named after the island of Malta, which came to be the home of the Knights of St. John. The Knights of St. John existed during the 11th and 12th centuries. The armor worn by the Knights covered their entire bodies as well as their faces. Because of this it was often difficult for the Knights to recognize one another during battle. They realized they would need some type of symbol that could be used to quickly and easily identify themselves. They chose the Cross of Calvary, which would later be known as the Maltese cross. During the Crusades, the enemies of the nights commonly used fire as a weapon. It was quite common for a Knight to have to risk his own life to save another Knight or extinguish a fire.
The Knights of St. John were also known for their care of the sick and injured. Combined with their abilities to fight fires, and the pride and honor they took in their work, the Maltese cross seems a fitting symbol of the modern fire service. Firefighting is a proud profession, and only a symbol of pride would exemplify the work of a firefighter.
The Star Of Life is one of the most highly recognized symbols in the world. Most of us associate the star of life with emergency medical care. The six points of the star represent the six aspects of the EMS system: Detection, reporting, response, on scene care, care in transit, and transfer to definitive care. The snake and staff in the center of the Star Of Life represent Asclepius, the son of Apollo in Greek mythology. Cheron taught Asclepius how to heal the sick and injured. Zeus, the king of the Greek gods, worried that Asclepius could make all men immortal with his powers of healing. To prevent this from happening Zeus killed Asclepius with a thunderbolt. How and why did this all come together in what we now know as the Star Of Life?
Leo R. Schwartz, chief of the EMS branch of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, designed the modern Star Of Life in the 1970's after complaints from the red cross that many ambulance companies and other EMS organizations were using the Omaha orange cross, which was the symbol used by the red cross. Schwartz's design was an adaptation of the symbol used by the American Medical Association. The Star Of Life was registered as a Certification Mark in February of 1977. The Star Of Life cannot be used by just anyone. Generally you must have some type of association with emergency medical services. It is most commonly seen on emergency vehicles, on the uniforms of EMS personnel, and to indicate emergency medical facilities.
|The Dalmatian's affinity for horses led them to their well-known name "Coach Dog" or "Carriage Dog." Their ability and agility to run between the carriage wheels and the horses hoofs and their stamina to run great distances made them ideal for traveling long and far with a coach. They guided the horses through the streets and guarded the occupants of the coach against the notorious highwaymen. This ability to run with horse and carriage is the reason the Dalmatian was so widely used with the fire carriage of yesteryear. They would carefully and aptly guide the fireman through streets of busy traffic. In addition, it was observed that Dalmatians formed an amazingly tight bond with horses. Today, with no horse-drawn carriages for fire trucks, the Dalmatian has become the firehouse mascot. Contrary to popular belief, the Dalmatian was not used because he could see through smoke or because he liked the color red, but because he was a useful tool in guiding the carriages.|
The tradition of bagpipes played at fire department funerals in the United States goes back over one hundred 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 ceilis (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"-No Irish Need Apply. The only jobs they could get were the ones no one else wanted -jobs that were dirty, dangerous or both - fire-fighters 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.
Associated with cities such as Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Chicago, pipe bands representing both fire and police often have more than 60 uniformed members. They are also traditionally known as Emerald Societies after Ireland-the Emerald Isle. Many bands wear traditional Scottish dress while others wear the simpler Irish uniform. All members wear the kilt and tunic, whether it is a Scottish clan tartan or Irish single color kilt.
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 funeral.
Excerpted from Ohio Fire Chief, July 1997
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