Orange County firefighters remembered the life of Greg Hennessey, who suffered a heart attack and died while on duty at a Rancho Santa Margarita fire station.
They gathered Tuesday in a special ceremony. Here are the remarks made:
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
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. One such tradition is the sounding of the bell.
In the past as firefighters 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 and 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 comrade’s passing.
We utilize these traditions as symbols, which reflect honor and respect on those who have given so much and who 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 now, Greg has completed his tasks.
His duties well done, he has given his best.
For our fallen brother, his last alarm.
He has gone home.
Command: “Detail Attention”
Command: “Present Arms”
The bell is struck solemnly three times for three
cycles; pausing in between strikes and cycles.
Command: “Order Arms”
Command: “You may be seated”