Greater St. Louis Area Firefighters Highland Guard

Since moving to the St. Louis area in February, 2002, and having been a member of the Highland Guards Rock Falls Illinois brigade, I began seeking out a fire department bagpipe and drum corps honor guard. Much to my surprise one did not exist in this large metropolitan area. So came the idea to develop our own brigade.

The reasons for the existence of the Highland Guards are many and varied, but perhaps the core reason is to develop and enhance the good relations between the fire services in the Greater St. Louis area and the citizens we serve, as well as to show our honor for our profession.

The idea was faxed to area departments and our first meeting was held on May 23rd, 2002. It was decided at that time that we had enough interest to go forward. Since that time we have been meeting on a regular basis to organize our group and developing a foundation on which our honor guard can grow. Our group desires to participate in Fire Service Ceremonies along with participation in civil functions such as parades, flag postings, and other non-political ceremonies, as well as enjoy working with other honor guards. We also would be proud to provide honor to members of the Fire Services and ALL Emergency Service members at memorial type services.

Music lessons have begun, with Firefighter Pat Holland (West County Fire) taking charge of the bagpipers in training and Firefighter Corey Irelan (Pattonville Fire) taking charge of the drummers. Although much time is needed before we will be making public appearances, we are progressing toward that goal.

A Board of Directors has been established naming myself, Firefighter Brian Zinanni (Clayton Fire) as President; Firefighter Mark Zundel (Fenton Fire) as Vice President; and Bob Watts (Cottleville Fire) as Treasurer. We are working on many items necessary to make our group function. Some of these items include applying for our federal 501(C)(3) not for profit status. The application process has been completed and we anticipate completion of this project soon. We will be holding several fund-raisers to help us offset costs. at nearly $1500.00 per person to outfit us (not including the cost of your instrument), we are looking at many ways to help fund our cause.