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Las Vegas fire department planning 9-11 tribute

Posted: 1:27 PM, Sep 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-09 16:27:21-04

Las Vegas firefighters will be remembering the victims of 9-11 on Sept. 11.

It has been 18 years since the terror attack. The fire department will host its annual "Tolling of the Bells" for the victims of the attack.

Many years before radio communications existed in the fire service, communication was done via fire alarm boxes on street corners that were assigned a "box number" much like an address. Firefighters had to memorize the box numbers and their locations. When a person pulled a fire alarm, the signal would go to all the fire stations by wire and ring the bell in the stations. The bell would ring the number issued to that box and firefighters would respond. Fire dispatch would also have designated ringing of the bells to alert department members of certain events.

If a firefighter was killed in the line of duty, fire dispatch would ring the bell in sets of five, three times. This would let everyone on the department know that a firefighter had just lost his or her life in the line of duty.

After the bell ringing and flag raising, a retired New York City firefighter will sing the National Anthem. Frank Pizarro was a firefighter assigned to FDNY Engine 76 and was off duty when the first plane struck the World Trade Center.

In addition, to the ringing of the bells, a special United States flag that once flew over the World Trade Center will be hoisted to half-staff on the flagpole in front of Fire Station Five. On display in front of the station is a piece of steel from the World Trade Center. The city of New York has requested that the special flag be flown over the piece of steel at half-staff Sept. 11 each year. It has been done every year since the city received the flag in 2004.