|In the spring of 1996, letters were sent to all the fire departments in Bergen County announcing the formation of the Bergen County Firefighters Pipe Band.|
All firefighters in Bergen County interested in learning to play the bagpipes were encouraged to meet at the American Legion post in Bogota, NJ to discuss this new venture. There were nine men at that first meeting who were introduced to the founders of the band: Paul Kearns, a Teaneck firefighter and Pat Martens, an experienced instructor with a vast history of creating bands throughout the tri-state area. With their leadership, experience and hard work, and with the shared knowledge of our first drum instructor, Dennis Gordon, the band was able to play it’s first public performance in February, 1997. Since that time, the band has seen many players come and go and we have outgrown the walls of the American legion. Having moved for a short time to the Leonia Civic Center, the band now calls Ralph H. Hall, Post #5561, VFW its home in Bogota. Doug Parody, the band’s current pipe instructor, took over for Pat Martens in 1999. Dennis Gordon has rejoined our ranks once again and is currently the bands Drum Instructor. The Pipe Major is James Schmitt, one of the original nine firefighters who showed up in 1996 for the first meeting. James belongs to both Ridgefield Park and Bogota Volunteer Fire departments. Our uniform is military style signified by the Glen Garry cap with the badge of each member’s fire department, white spats, longhaired sporran, and the uniform shirt, a Memorial Kilt Pin in Memory of Martin Duffy ... The band members designed the kilt. After many heated meetings the membership decided to customize a tartan from the many samples made available to them.