Rhode Island Professional Firefighters Pipes and Drums
In the spring of 2001, the concept of creating a firefighters bagpipe and drums band in Rhode Island was discussed. In June of 2001, at the RI State Association of firefighters monthly meeting, flyers were handed out to organize a band. On September 10, 2001, we had our first organizational meeting at the LeFoyer Club in Pawtucket, RI. At the first meeting 17 firefighters from around the state participated and joined the effort. By November of 2001 we had 54 applications, and by January of 2002, 34 members were learning to play an instrument.
The Providence Firefighters local 799 offered their Union hall for practice on Monday nights, and donated an office for use by the executive committee. While continuing practice on our chanter and drum pads the members began fundraisers to purchase drums and uniforms. Today we have outfitted 34 members with the Royal Stewart Kilt, White Uniform dress shirt with department Patch on the left sleeve, and band patch on the right sleeve, Glengarry with department hat badge, navy blue hose with red flashers. We have purchased 3 base drums, 7 snare drums, and the Drum Majors mace and sash. The pipers have all purchased their own instruments and the organization continues to buy assorted equipment. No band would be complete without an Honor Guard in front of it to proudly march with flags purchased by the band.
Our first appearance or major event for the community was held on April 4, 2002 where the band did the opening ceremonies for the Pawtucket Red Sox Triple A baseball team at McCoy Stadium. This event was held in honor of the FDNY, NYPD, and PAPD who were killed in the line of duty on September 11, 2001. All honor Guards from RI and Eastern Massachusetts’s police and fire departments were invited by the staff of McCoy Stadium. The RI Professional Firefighters Pipes and Drums proudly lead them on to the field where ceremonies took place.
Numerous fire department functions across the state have been our most enjoyable engagements. Seeing and listening to the remarks of our brother and sister firefighters is truly inspirational. Unfortunately we have had the sad task of playing at many funerals for both active and retired members from around the State.
Our band proudly marches in parades throughout the State of RI. Look on our band schedule page for our list of appearances.
With the organization’s dedicated members, the Rhode Island Professional Firefighters Pipes & Drums band will march into the next millennium with future band members from around the State of RI.