bandlogoThe Rural Metro Firefighters Pipe and Drum Corps is a ceremonial unit that is available statewide for public safety funeral honors. The band strives to travel annually to national fallen firefighter memorials.  It’s ability to travel to these events is based on fundraising and event performance proceeds.


The tradition of bagpipes played at fire department and police department events in the United States goes back over one hundred fifty years. When the Irish and Scottish immigrated to this country, they brought many of their traditions with them. One of these was the Great Highland Bagpipe, often played at Celtic weddings, funerals and ceilidh’s (dances).

It wasn't until the great potato famine and massive Irish immigration to the East Coast of the United States that the tradition of the bagpipes really took hold in the fire department. In the 1800's, Irish immigrants faced massive discrimination. Factories and shops had signs reading "NINA" - No Irish Need Apply. The only jobs they could get were the ones no one else wanted - jobs that were dirty, dangerous, or both - firefighters and police officers. It was not an uncommon event to have several firefighters killed at a working fire. The Irish firefighters' funerals were typical of all Irish funerals - the pipes were played. It was somehow okay for a hardened firefighter to cry at the sound of bagpipes when his dignity would not let him weep for a fallen comrade.

Those who have attended a funeral where bagpipes were played know how haunting and mournful the sound of the pipes can be. The most famous song played at fire and police funerals is Amazing Grace. It wasn't too long before families and friends of non-Irish firefighters began asking for the bagpipes to be played for fallen heroes. The bagpipes add a special air and dignity to this solemn occasion.

Today, the tradition is universal and not just for the Irish or Scottish. The bagpipes have become a distinguishing feature of a fallen hero's funeral.


The band wears the Burnett’s and Struth Tartan, woven by Locharron of Scottland.


To make a donation or for more information or to book the band for an upcoming event contact band manager Cliff Dahl (602)717-4087 [email protected]