• Americas First Volunteer Firefighter Pipe Band •
It all began in July of 1985, when members of the Lynbrook, NY Fire Department decided that a countywide Emerald Society was long overdue. They held a membership drive at the Nassau County Parade and Drill, held in Levittown, NY and the society was established. Firefighter Paul Newman of the Levittown Fire Department was charged with forming a pipe band. He would become the band’s first Pipe Major. In October of 1985, the first meeting was held at Levittown Fire Department headquarters. The band was originally known as “Fir Na Tine” which means “Men of Fire” in Gaelic.
In the early 1990s, the band membership dwindled and the band nearly fell apart. However, in 1996 new blood was infused into the band when Anthony Egan of the Long Beach Fire Department helped get the band back on its feet again. Tony would later become the band’s first President. Currently, the band is proud to have two members who have been in the band since inception in 1986; Pipe Major Emeritus Bobby Hughes (who led the band as Pipe Major for ten years) and Drummer Kenny Lucano.
The band has accomplished many things in its over 30 years of service for Nassau County Fire Service. In 1989, the band played at the dedication of the Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Eisenhower Park. In 1990, the band played the ceremony honoring the heroes of the Avianca plane crash. The band has also performed in St. Patrick’s Day Parades in New York City and Indianapolis. Since 2001 the band has performed every year in the Savannah, Georgia St. Patrick’s Day Parade. We have also played in the fire service themed Saint Patrick’s Day parade in Delray Beach, Florida. In 2002 the band played for President George W. Bush at a 9/11-dedication ceremony. The band has also performed at halftime shows for the New York Jets in 2002, 2014 and 2016. In 2005 with the help of Drum Sergeant Sean Mckeon, the band released its first self-titled CD. In 2012 under the leadership of Pipe Major Anthony Paolicelli, the band released its second CD “Second Alarm,” both CDs are still available for purchase on iTunes. In 2015 the band was featured in the PNC Christmas Price Index Twelve Days of Christmas Commercial as 11 Pipers Piping, which received over 200,000 hits on Youtube. We are also proud to have been named the Nassau County Parade Champions in 2008 and 2009, and New York State Parade Champions in 2005, 2009, and 2011. We placed 2nd in the New York State Parade in 2013, which just makes us hungrier for another championship. On January 20th 2017 the band played its most high profile performance, when it accepted the invitation to play the 58th Presidential Inauguration. The band was very excited when they were told that they would be one of only 40 bands to play Donald J. Trump’s 58th Inaugural Parade.
Currently, the band has thrived under the leadership of several band members; Pipe Major Emeritus Bobby Hughes is the current band manager and has been a consistent leader in the band since its creation in 1986. Bobby continues to be an integral part band and he currently holds the position of Drum Major. Bobby is also very active keeping the band current on social media. In addition, long time member and current president Ed Moore has done an excellent job running the band. Ed has been a member of the band since 1998 and has run several successful journals for the band. Our current Pipe Major, Tom Moran, has really focused on improving the musicality of the band. As a result, we are a more technically sound band.
Currently, the band is excited to have been asked to participate in the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War I in Belgium this Memorial Day weekend. The featured event will be a performance at Flander’s Field American Cemetery. There are 368 American soldiers who are buried at Flander’s Field with an additional 43 MIA soldiers, whose names are inscribed on the Walls of the Missing. In the future, we are looking forward to enhancing our rich history for years to come. Most of all we are focused on continuing our band’s mission to proudly represent the Nassau County Fire Service and its 71 departments with the utmost professionalism and honor for years to come.