The history of fire and firefighting dates back 1000's of years. From the time man accumulated the knowledge of how to start a fire, fire-related injuries have happened time and time again. We'll be focusing on those moments in annals of history which have led us to understand the way we've perceived fire and firefighting. According to historical sources, the first ever firefighting team was formed by Caesar to defend Rome against fires. Throughout the history of the US, there have been huge fires, the first one coming to Jamestown in 1608, only one year after it was founded.
Fires were so severe that it led the government to give firefighting and fire prevention serious consideration. All this led to the creation of newest codes and rules regarding firefighting, including regulations relating to the use of open spaces, fire resistant building material, and creation of firefighting departments. These had been the first written rules relating to firefighting and prevention. Peter Stuyvesant was the first US governor to form a firefighting association in the form of the fire workers in 1648, who were supposed to defend the new institutions being put up at New Amsterdam.
The Fire Wardens was the primary firefighting group in America. A few of the responsibilities of the fire workers included assuring the safe exit of everybody caught in the inferno, to escort individuals with disabilities to the pre-defined safe exit, to guarantee that all the doors and windows are clear, and equipment which can cause fire in the future must be switched off to ensure that there's no risk to the individual safety of the firefighters. According to American internal government records, about 73% of all of the firefighters in America have entered via VFD or Volunteer Fire Departments. The primary difference between voluntary firefighters and regular firefighters is based on the fact that voluntary firefighters don't actually work on fixed shifts and don't reside in firehouses, rather they're called once they're needed. The first major incident that happened after dozens of fire insurance agencies- claiming to cover all losses incurred because of fire- came up in abundance, had been in December 1835 in New York, when the Great Fire of New York left thousands homeless and jobless and majority of the insurance agencies who'd covered the buildings included were rendered bankrupt due to the Great Fire.
On 278 Spring Street in New York City is the New York City Fire Museum, where you can learn all about the history of firefighters in New York. It is definitely worth checking for anyone interested in the fascinating history of firefighters in New York. This museum attracts over 40,000 visitors a year from all over the world.
Do you know any lesser known facts about the first fire departments? Let us know in the comments section down below.
Barak Bacharach, SkySaver Content Manager