Tributes to Firefighters


Fireman’s Prayer

When I am called to duty, God
whenever flames may rage,
give me strength to save some life
whatever be its age.

Help me embrace a little child
before it is too late,
or save an older person
from the horror of that fate.

Enable me to be alert
and hear the weakest shout,
and quickly and efficiently
to put the fire out.

I want to fill my calling
and to give the best in me,
to guard my every neighbor
and protect his property

And if according to my fate
I am to lose my life,
please bless with your protecting hand
my children and my wife.
Author Unknown

Striking the Four Fives

The fire service is rich with ceremony, custom, and tradition. Our custom of rendering final honors has its origins in the fire department of the city of New York, where many years ago, long before the advent of radios or pagers, fire alarms and daily announcements were dispatched from central headquarters to outlying firehouses by a system of bell commands and telegraph.

Each different type of alarm or announcement would have its own number and series of bell strikes. When a firefighter died in the line of duty or when some important official or personage died, headquarters would transmit five bell strikes, repeated in four series, with a slight pause between each series, followed by the announcement. This was done as long ago as 1865 in the New Your City Fire Department to inform the rank and file of the death of Abraham Lincoln.

The custom has continued down to the present day and this form of rendering final honors to departed comrades is known in the fire service as “STRIKING THE FOUR FIVES”.

I ask that members of the ___________________ Fire Department, active and retired, please rise and stand in place until seated by my command.


Bell Strikes

The signal 5-5-5-5 has been transmitted.   It is with deep regret that the ____________ Fire Department announces the death of its member ____________ on __________ – Time of service: ___________________ to ______________________________ – _______________________’s assignment is completed and he has returned to quarters.
Company, please be seated.

Provided by:
John Schultz
Indianola Fire Department

The Last Alarm

Dear Lord, we call upon you for strength and guidance.
Give us courage that we may impart courage to others.

When the gong sounds, calling us to our duty, give
us speed and efficiency.

As our sirens wail, ride with us through the city streets
shielding us from danger.

On the fireground may our officers and firefighters
always work as a cautious, courageous and
victorious team.

Walk with us through the terror of flames and explosions.

May our hearts be always ready if we are summoned
before out Eternal Chief in the midst of our labors.

We ask only that you may be pleased with our service.

That when the Last Alarm shall have sounded for us,
we may receive our eternal assignment with you.

My Brother has Fallen

My Brother has fallen; no, I don’t know his name.

Have not the same parents still family all the same.
He lives in this town, I live in another,
It doesn’t really matter ’cause this man is my Brother.

My Brother I call him, yet I’ve never seen his face.
I have brothers and sisters all over the place!
You see I am a Firefighter and our families are one.

Around the world, a brotherhood of unity,
A closeness, a bond, most people don’t see.
I’ll watch his back; She’ll watch mine,
“You go, I go,” time after time.

His family’s my family, Her family theirs,
We’re part of one family where everyone cares,
I’ll look after your kids, please look in on my wife,
Should that day finally come when I laid down my life.

We dedicate our lives helping our fellow man,
Living day after day doing all that we can,
Where ever we’re needed whether nighttime or day,
To save the life of another we’ll step in harms way.

My Brother has fallen doing what he loved best,
And among the Honored, he now stands with the rest
For a mile in dress uniform here everyone stands,
For my Brother has fallen, God into your hands.