• MISSION STATEMENT

  • Our mission is to help foster the Irish heritage and traditions within the fire service and to promote and preserve the accomplishments firefighters have made and continue to make every day. We will continue to support and improve the community through good works, and to constantly look for new ways to make a positive impact upon the communities we proudly serve.

  • Much like the Claddagh ring the Irish proudly wear, the mission of The New Haven County Firefighters Emerald Society has come to reflect the meaning of that ancient Irish symbol. While the hands signify friendship, so the Society hopes to foster friendship. As the Society has expanded throughout New Haven County, many long and lasting friendships have formed. We have annually marched together in parades and festivals all along the Eastern Seaboard.

    Boston Mass., The West Point Military Academy, The Coast Guard Academy, Washington, D.C., Charlotte, N.C., and Savannah, Ga., are just a few places where we have all come together to represent our profession as brothers, sisters, and friends. We annually sponsor St. Patricks Day parade festivities in New Haven and an outing in West Haven in the fall. The friendships formed at these activities cross city, county and state lines, and last as long as the profession itself.

    As the crown in the Claddagh signifies loyalty, so the Emerald Society is loyal to it’s members and the profession of firefighting. One of the time honored views the public identifies with the Irish are the bagpipes. The Irish have made the bagpipes the adoptive instrument of the fire department. The bagpipes were also used during the funeral ceremonies when burying their fallen comrades. When a firefighter was killed in the line of duty, the Irish ensured that their fallen brothers were buried with full honors. Today, that time honored music crosses all ethnic, racial and religious lines, and is played at funerals regardless of race, color or creed. The Irish have made bagpipe bands a great source of pride in cities all across the land.

    Over time, the Emerald Society Pipe Band has seen it’s share of happy occasions as well. We have been called upon to lead graduating college students, welcome newly elected officials, and announce the arrival of new firefighters and newly promoted officers into this proud profession.

    The heart of love in the Claddagh is represented almost every week in some respect throughout our Society. Society members throughout the county have become brothers–in-arms not only as firefighters, but as community activists as well. We have annually given Christmas gifts to children in New Haven County less fortunate than our own children. We have given bikes to children who have none. And in a tradition instituted by the family of New Haven Firefighter Tommy Kelly, who was permanently disabled in a fire in the early 90’s, we have given scholarship money to members every year, to help their school age children with the ever rising costs of education at every level.

    They have helped each other in literally dozens of fundraisers throughout the state. While many of these occasions have been grand celebrations, sadly many were to help family and friends in our profession in dire need. In that respect, the crown of loyalty has come to signify the commitment that we have towards each other and the public in general.

  • EMERALD SOCIETY HISTORY
  • In the early 1980’s, Battalion Chief Danny Kirby of the New Haven Fire Department formed the New Haven Fire Dept. Emerald Society. This group consisted of approximately 35 members. The only activities were participation in the New Haven St. Patrick’s Day parade and a communion breakfast. There was no slate of officers, and no by-laws. During the 1980’s, interest in the development of the Society waned and it soon became defunct.

    In May of 1993, Dave Morgan posted a notice in the ten New Haven fire stations, asking anyone who was interested in resurrecting the Society to attend a meeting at the Knights of St. Patrick Hall. This meeting took place on May 24, 1993. From this meeting spawned the first executive board, with Morgan as the Society’s president. Subsequent meetings produced by-laws, stating the group’s objectives. A recruitment drive delivered a first year roster of 37 members, all of whom had to be a member of the New Haven Fire Dept.