Update: Banned Firefighters Now Allowed to March in the Savannah, GA St. Patrick’s Day Parade


Committee officials have brokered a deal with Savannah’s IAFF Local allowing visiting firefighters to march with local firefighters. Read more about the deal here. Related video below.

Original story below

I have never been to the Savannah, GA St. Patrick’s Day Parade. I hear that it is one hell of a good time. I have been invited numerous times, but haven’t been able to get down there for one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day Parades in the World.

This year, merely two weeks before the parade, the Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee banned all fire departments marching under the Our Nation’s Firefighter’s application out of the parade. The group “Our Nation’s Firefighters” is headed up by Jim Grismer, is a catch all group that helps in the logistics of travelling firefighters as well as local departments who would like to march in the parade.

FDNY Firefighters might get a second chance at marching though. Read more about that here.

Needless to say, this news may have been better coming out after last years parade instead of two weeks before this one. I am certain that there are hundreds of firefighters who have already planned their travel to Savannah. Plus, if drinking were the problem, shouldn’t it have been discussed after the event last year in an effort to come up with ways of fixing the problem this year.


Brendan Sheehan, General Chairman of the 2013 St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, told WTOC it shouldn’t be a surprise to Grismer since they have warned the organizers over and over again about issues with firefighter behavior during the parade, specifically drinking alcohol. He says the banner of Our Nation’s Firefighters includes more and more cities and communities, to the point where they don’t know who is in their own parade. Despite promises to control the behavior, he say it continues.

The timing is what really bothers Grismer.

“This is quite a shock because this is certainly the 11th hour and less than two weeks before the parade and we get a letter telling us our application was rejected and denied,” Grismer, also head of Savannah Friends of Firefighters, told WTOC. “It seems a little hypocritical and, at this point, vindictive because of the timing. They could have done this on March 18, 2012. 

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