Bell Ceremony

The ringing of the bell for fallen firefighters & The Fireman's Prayer.



Honor Guard Oath

Written by Thomas J. Matousek Jr. Forest Park Local #2753



Here's what's new:

2020 Daniel J. Bower Commitment To Excellence Award was awarded to Mike Newton Local #3005.


Watch for events.

demoClick HERE to view our upcoming events for the year.


Illinois Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial/Medal of Honor Ceremony; May 11 - 12, 2020, Springfield, Illinois Cancelled

IAFF Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial; September 18 - 20, 2020, Colorado Springs, Colorado





Bell Ceremony & The Fireman's Prayer

The Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois Honor Guard is proud to carry on a tradition that has been done for over 200 years at a Firefighter's Funeral.  That tradition is known as, "The Ringing of the Bell."  Usually done after the Fireman's Prayer, the ringing of the bell is the final event of a LODD Ceremony that announces a Comrade has come home for that final time.  After each set of ringing the bell 3 times, the fingers of a gloved hand gently grab the bell to silence it before sounding the next ring of 3.  As the final toll of the 3rd pull, the bell is left alone to ring out.  There are many different versions of how many times this is done based on different department's traditions.  However, the AFFI Honor Guard follows the 3 rings, 3 times each for the Bell Ceremony.

To assist in the event that you need to read this at an event, click here to download a Microsoft Word file that you can easily print & keep in the pocket of your Class A coat.


Ringing of the Bell


The men and women of today's fire service are confronted with a more dangerous
work environment than ever before. We are forced to continually change our
strategies and tactics to accomplish our tasks.

Our methods may change, but our goals remain the same as they were in the past,
to save lives and to protect property, sometimes at a terrible cost. This is what we do,
this is our chosen profession, this is the tradition of the fire fighter.

The fire service of today is ever changing, but is steeped in traditions 200 years old.
One such tradition is the sound of a bell.

In the past, as fire fighters began their tour of duty, it was the bell that signaled the
beginning of that day's shift. Throughout the day and night, each alarm was sounded
by a bell, which summoned these brave souls to fight fires and to place their lives in
jeopardy for the good of their fellow citizen. And when the fire was out and the alarm
had come to an end, it was the bell that signaled to all the completion of that call. When
a fire fighter had died in the line of duty, paying the supreme sacrifice, it was the mournful
toll of the bell that solemnly announced a comrades passing.

We utilize these traditions as symbols, which reflect honor and respect on those
who have given so much and who have served so well. To symbolize the devotion
that these brave souls had for their duty, a special signal of three rings, three times
each, represents the end of our comrades' duties and that they will be returning to
quarters. And so, to those who have selflessly given their lives for the good of their
fellow man, their tasks completed, their duties well done, to our comrades, their last
alarm, they are going home.



Fireman's Prayer

When I am called to duty, God
Wherever flames may rage
Give me strength to save a life
Whatever be its age.

Let 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
To give the best in me,
To guard my friend and neighbor
And protect their property.

And, if, according to your will,
While on duty I must answer death's call;
Bless with your protecting hand
My family, one and all.







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