History of the Bugle in the fire service
These insignia of an officers rank are not bugles, they are trumpets
In the 18th century communities relied on citizens for firefighting which evolved into fire companies. The need quickly emerged for better organized efforts in combating conflagrations. They needed Leadership for the early volunteer fire fighting companies. It was provided by "Engineers" and "Foreman" who directed the firefighting on the fire ground.
To communicate they would use a "speaking trumpet" to amplify their voices over the noise on a fire scene. Over time the trumpet became recognized as the symbol of fire department authority.
Highly decorated presentation trumpets made of engraved pewter or german silver were awarded to Chief Engineers or the Foreman on their appointment to lead the company. They were also presented between fire companies participating in parades, competitions, and musters.
The plain functional brass "working trumpet" dates from the very beginning. This trumpet has small bands around the mouthpiece and bell with two rings for carrying on a cord. They lack ornamentation or engraving. It is this trumpet that is symbolic of modern-day firefighting rank.
We help carry on this tradition with our personalized Trumpet plaques.as retirement gifts and awards, recognizing and honoring a members dedication to the Fire Service, their community and department.