HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- State Fire Commissioner Ed Mann today urged Pennsylvanians to join him in observing National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend.
"On Sunday, Oct. 7, church and firehouse bells will ring to honor firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2011," said Mann. "I encourage firefighters and survivors in Pennsylvania to join in tribute to fallen heroes, and hope fire departments, civic leaders and citizens alike participate during this special remembrance weekend."
Each year in Pennsylvania, thousands of firefighters both paid and volunteer serve our state and our country. In 2011, Pennsylvania lost four firefighters in the line of duty.
Fire departments, their supporters and families are encouraged to participate by developing an appropriate tribute, such as a moment of silence, brief prayer, or tolling a bell ceremonially by members of the fire company.
The toll of a bell is a historical symbol in the fire service. The toll of the firehouse bell summoned firefighters to the station, signaled the beginning of shift, notified departments of a call for help, and indicated the completion of a call and the unit returning to the station.
A series of bells were sounded when a firefighter had died in the line of duty. This indication was used to alert departments that a comrade had made the ultimate sacrifice. Today, the signaling of bells has become a time honored tradition in the fire service across the country.
Every October, the National Fallen Firefighter Memorial Foundation sponsors the official national tribute to all firefighters who died in the line of duty during the previous year. For more information, visit http://weekend.firehero.org or www.BellsAcrossAmerica.com
Media contact: Ruth Miller, 717-651-2009
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the State Fire Commissioner