Pipes and Drums

Pipe & Drums The idea of the Arvada Firefighters Pipe and Drum band started in 1997 when Firefighter James Dawe introduced Firefighter Ben Ackerman to the bagpipes and pipe and drum music.  In the years that followed the pair discussed the possibility of an Arvada Fire Department pipe and drum band, however both realized the difficulty of starting such a band. In April of 2007, after spending a week watching and listening to fire department pipe bands from across the United States in Indianapolis at FDIC, Firefighter Ben Ackerman wrote a letter to Chief Jon Greer officially requesting permission to form the Arvada Firefighters Pipe and Drum band. Recognizing the positive benefits of a department pipe and drum band Chief Jon Greer gave Firefighter Ben Ackerman permission to form, and requested that he put a preliminary budget together to explore the possibility of financial support from the Fire District.


     In June of 2007, a letter was sent to the employees of the Arvada Fire Protection District to see who would be interested in starting the band.  The challenge was met by many and the original members of the Arvada Firefighters Pipes and Drums are; Pipers: Firefighter Ben Ackerman, Firefighter James Dawe, Captain Todd Hill, Firefighter Lance Shore, Firefighter Ryan Weir, Firefighter Alvin Lamle, and Firefighter Ben Hamilton. Drummers: Firefighter Chris Ambrosio, Captain Mark Ferguson, Firefighter Jeremy Kesterson, Lieutenant Tim McChesney, Firefighter Dan Roozen, Firefighter Ian Jolley,  and Firefighter Tyler Beck. 

     The group retained the services of bagpipe instructor Ben Holmes, pipe major of Centennial States Pipe and Drum band, and drum instructor Sammy Mangiamele of Centennial States Pipes and Drum band, and began meeting for band practice every Monday night.  The band named Firefighter Ben Ackerman as Pipe major, Firefighter James Dawe as Pipe Sergeant, and Firefighter Chris Ambrosio as Drum Sergeant.

     The group set to researching the history of fire department pipe band uniforms, and decided they would wear a traditional military pipe and drum band uniform.  After much searching, the modern Harris of McLeod tartan was chosen as our uniform kilt.  The colors of this tartan are important to the members of the band for many reasons.  The blue, yellow and red are the main colors in the department patch, the red also represents valor in the fire service as well as fire, the black represents smoke, and the green represents the Irish heritage of the bagpipes.

     Although each member of the band had committed to financially supporting themselves, the Arvada Fire Protection District board of directors approved a budget that would pay for the bands instruments and uniforms, as well as provide the band lessons through 2008.  Venders were sought, and in December of 2007 the fourteen uniforms, seven sets of bagpipes and seven drums were ordered.  While the members of the band anxiously await the arrival of their equipment, the history of the Arvada Firefighters Pipe and Drum band is beginning to be written.  No one knows what the future holds, however it is to be assumed that the band will uphold the proud traditions of the Arvada Fire Protection District as well as promote the history and traditions of the fire service through our music and actions.