The history of firefighting is thought to have its origins in Roman times when Augustus, the Roman emperor, created a group that could fight fires. In these ancient Roman times, firefighters only had water, a bucket and an ax in order to combat fires.Continue Reading
The firefighters would line up and pass a bucket of water from one person to another until the bucket reached the person standing near the fire. The bucket of water would then be tossed on to the flames and this procedure would be repeated in the hopes of extinguishing the fire. The ax was used to help the heat from the fire escape ,as well as the smoke.
In 1631, there was a large fire in Boston, and America created its own fire regulations. Shortly thereafter, in 1648, fire wardens were appointed in New Amsterdam, which is modern-day New York, establishing the origins of the first public fire department in North America.
In 1666, there was a Great Fire in London that destroyed large parts of the city. For insurance purposes, insurance companies demanded that a fire brigade be created to help stop fires moving forward. Later, in 1865, the government would combine these brigades to form the London's Metropolitan Fire Brigade.
Despite these advancements, fire departments in the modern sense did not come into being until toward the end of the 19th century, according to the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch. During the time of the telegraph, technological advances created fire alarm systems that could be placed in businesses and in homes. In modern times, computer-aided dispatch systems also came into being, making it possible for fire fighting departments to track fire trucks, emergency fire calls and firefighters.Learn more about Modern History