APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – The Appleton Fire Department hosted a bell dedication ceremony on Wednesday morning to celebrate Station #1 receiving a new firefighter’s bell.
Officials say that throughout history, the life of a firefighter has been closely associated with the ringing of the bell. As firefighters began their tour of duty, it was the bell that signaled the start of a shift.
Throughout the day and night, each alarm was sounded by a bell that summoned the firefighters to duty. When the call had ended, and the alarm was complete, it was the bell that signaled to all the completion of the distress call.
In addition, when a firefighter died in the line of duty, officials say it was the mournful toll of the bell that solemnly announced a firefighter’s passing.
Station #1’s original bell was gifted to a local school upon its founding many years ago. Recently, officials say that a replica bell was cast and painted to be housed above Fire Station #1.
“The bell is very closely associated with our department, and without that history, in the past, we weren’t able to appropriately honor our comrades, and so from this day moving forward, our bell will now be able to allow us to do that,” said Captain Jeff Nelessen with the Appleton Fire Department.
Nelessen continued on to say that without the help of Bergstrom Automotive, Miron Construction, De Pere Foundry, and Profile Finishing Systems, none of this would’ve been possible.
“In a way of thanking them for making the project possible, we had each one of them chime the bell for the very first time,” concluded Nelessen.