Thursday, December 30, 2010

Corey Ankum, CFD - Three, Three, Five

Old firehouses would use a bell to signal alarms. The most dreaded was a 5-5-5 Toll that announced the death of a firefighter in the line of duty. Fallen Firefighters are honored with a slow tolling of "three times three ( 3-3-3)" which signals "return to station." ( Correction to post c.10:35 )

Firefighter Corey Ankum is returning to station and Christ today. Like his brother Edward Stringer, Corey Ankum will watch over the heroes here below who must answer the tolling of bells and signals and protect all of the rest of us.

Thank you for your service, Gentleman! God speed you home to Him!

Correction on the Fire Bell Tolls - from an unimpeachable source - A Chicago Fire Captain and Loyola Grad Class of 1974 - I obviously used a much dated source in the original post* -

pat 5-5-5 is our signal for going to a fire called being stilled out 3-3-5 is for returning yo (sic) quarters mike loyola'74

Before whistle signals, bells were the mode of communicating for mass dispersion. Church bells rang the fire alarm before a Fire Department was founded in 1877. Many townsfolk had small, wooden handled, hand held fire bells to ring the local alarm at a moment’s notice.

The Ward Four Fire Barn at Nash's Corner had one of the first fire bells installed in 1878. The bell was placed in the bell tower in front of the station. With a weight of 422 pounds and a cost of $35.62, it was the pride of the ward and a special honor to pull the rope tolling the bell.

Fire stations were built and took over the ringing of alarms. Some churches still rented their bells for alarms in dead spots.

Fire bells rang out the nearest street box number to the fire. The locations of Fire Street box numbers were listed in the Weymouth Gazette every week. Call men and folks would run to the location to watch or help in the blaze.

The fire bells had other purposes other than fires. A lost child would ring in three series of four tolls from the firehouse belfry, then the box number nearest the last location of the child.

Weymouth school children’s favorite in hearing was the “no school” signal of two sets of 2-2-2 bell rings. Civil unrest or disaster 8-8-8 brought the State Guard out.

The dreaded 5-5-5 toll, meaning the line of duty death of a firefighter, has solemnly echoed five times in the halls of Weymouth’s fire stations.

Ward 2’s wooden fire house at Broad Street and Filament was originally located near Dizer's Shoe Factory, then Greg LaRocco’s Welding Shop, then moved to its present location a little up Broad Street. The building is now the VFW hall on Broad Street. It was the Central Station until the presently closed Station 2 was erected in 1930 at Broad and Putnam Streets.

Station 2’s bell is inscribed with “Wm. Blake and Co., formerly H.M. Hooper and Co. Boston Mass. A.D. 1879.”


mike said...

pat 5-5-5 is our signal for going to a fire called being stilled out 3-3-5 is for returning yo quarters mike loyola'74

pathickey said...

Thanks Capt. Mike! I was using a dated source.

Jim McMahon said...

The first volunteer fire company in Chicago was established in 1832, and the Chicago Fire Department will be celebrating its 153rd anniversary as a paid fire department this coming year. It was founded on Aug. 2nd, 1858.