to meet the needs of our communities, and to help our brothers and those in need."
The Fraternal Order of Leatherheads Society was founded in 1995 by a group of Central Florida firemen. This group, known today as the Founding Fools, had a passion not only for the camaraderie and brotherhood that is forged between firefighters, but also for the rich tradition and heritage of the Fire Service.
The "Leatherhead" is a term used for a firefighter who uses the leather helmet for protection from the hazards we face every day on the streets. The Leather Helmet is an international sign of a firefighter, which is a symbol not only in tradition from the early years of firefighting, but also one of bravery, integrity, honor and pride. This helmet is a sign of who we are, not what we are.
The FOOLS, like the traditional leather helmet, has always existed through the brotherhood and tradition of the Fire Service, and will continue to grow and flourish as long as there are fires to fight and emergencies to respond to. All firefighters are welcome to be a part of this great organization; one does not have to own a leather helmet to be considered a "Leatherhead". The only qualification is that you are true to your profession and true to your brother and sister firefighters. Our membership is growing everyday, and we encourage you to start a FOOLS chapter in your department.
One last thing that we as the Founding Fools ask of each and every one of you: Let us never, ever forget those that have gone before us in the line of duty. Because those brave souls have given all, it is up to us to always keep them alive in our hearts and our memories. Long live the FOOLS.
FTM-PTB - "FOR THE MAN - PROTECT THE BROTHERS"
Captain Mike Dugan, Ladder Co. 123, FDNY (ret.) A "Mutt" is someone or thing that will abuse and mistreat a Firefighter. This can be the City, the Mayor, the Chief in Charge, the habitual caller, or the homeless Person who starts a fire and leaves. These are people that have never crawled down a hall or made the last room in an effort to do their job. If they can't get the job done today well maybe next week will do. If we don't get the job done people might die and our brother and sister might also die. So we always lay it on the line and leave a little behind at every fire. I say that in a dark smoky hallway I can't tell the race, creed or sex of my fellow firefighter, I just know that they are with me. I don't care who or what you are as long as you are a firefighter and want to protect your brothers and sisters.
EGH - "EVERYBODY GOES HOME" - "Sulum reverto domus"
Author unknown, possibly Old Gallagher "Although 'EGH, Everybody Goes Home' is not always possible, it is part of what we strive for. It is why we train, it is why we read, it is why we interact with each other. We need to share the knowledge. The more we share, the more we pass on what we have learned, the safer we will be. The fewer funerals we will have to go to, the more of our Brothers and Sisters that will go home. Because it is all about protecting each other." (Pressler, 2002)
RFB - "REMEMBER FALLEN BROTHERS" - "Memor cado frater"
"The Fire service, as a whole, is collectively still trying to recover from the effects of Sept. 11. The 343 members of the FDNY who made the supreme sacrifice that day will always be in our hearts and forever on our minds. As part of our FOOL's "signature", R-F-B, "Remember Fallen Brothers", these heroes should never and will never be forgotten. This should also include ALL of our fallen Brothers, no matter where they were from, or the matter in which they died. Their names have been added to a long list of those that have laid down their lives so that others may live." (Pressler, 2002)
KTF - "KEEP THE FAITH" - "Servo fides"
"Keep the Faith. With all that has happened, we must believe. We must have faith in ourselves and in the others that think like us. They can transfer us, they can make you cut your mustache, the can tell you what you can't wear on your helmet, but never let them break your spirit!" (Pressler, 2002)
DTRT - "Do The Right Thing" - "Operor vox res"
Lieutenant Bob Pressler, FDNY (ret.) "With everything going on in our lives, both personal and professional, this may be sometimes hard to do. We are always pulled in several directions when there are tough decisions to be made. Even after weighing all the possibilities or options, decisions are sometimes still very hard to make. But, under closer examination, there usually is a "right thing". It may take personal sacrifice, it may not be what you really would want to do, but it is the correct thing to do."