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Monday, 2 February 2015


Pliny the Younger’s request to form a fire brigade of 150 men was denied by the Emperor Trajan.

The first Roman fire brigade was created to be very lucrative. Arriving at the scene the fire fighters did nothing while a price was negotiated. Failing to reach a deal, the structure was allowed to burn to the ground after which an offer was made to purchase it for a fraction of its value.

Early firefighters weren't paid with cash, instead they first grabbed all valuable items out of the victims house or business, then would sell those items or keep them for themselves.

The first volunteer fire department was established in New York by Peter Stuyvesant in 1648.

Damaged caused by the Great Fire of London of 1666, which destroyed more than 13,000 houses, led to insurance companies creating the first fire brigades. The known London fire brigade comprising six uniformed men was founded in 1699 by an insurance firm at Tom’s Coffee House in St Martin’s Lane, Covent Garden.

At the time the crews would all rush to a burning house, but only put out the flames if the correct ‘fire mark’ on the outside wall proved the homeowner had paid that particular company his insurance premium.

Before municipal fire services came to fruition, metal plaques marked with the emblem of a fire insurance company were affixed to the front of insured buildings as a guide to the company's fire brigade. The first to use the mark was the Sun Fire Office which was established in 1710.

On September 19, 1738, the Common Council appointed for the first time volunteers to be the 'Firemen of New York City.'

A picture of American firefighters in the 1770s

Until 1878, fire houses were equipped with spiral staircases so the fire horses would not try to climb the stairs into the firefighter's living quarters.

UK's first woman firefighter, Mary Langdon, joined East Sussex Fire Brigade in 1976.

Some 343 firefighters were killed during the Al Qaeda terror attacks on New York’s Twin Towers on September 11, 2001.

Firefighters in Dubai use jetpacks to tackle blazes in high-rise buildings.

About 100 firefighters die each year in America.

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