Fires have been a problem for as long as cities have existed. Since the Ancient Egyptians used hand-operated pumps to extinguish fires, individuals have been concerned with a coordinated response to firefighting.Do you want to learn more? -find more information
In 1631, the governor of Boston, John Winthrop, banned wooden chimneys and thatched roofs in North America. In 1648, Governor Peter Stuyvesant of New Amsterdam (now New York) appointed four able-bodied men to serve as fire wardens. These fire guards were capable of inspecting all chimneys and fining any individuals who breached the law. The Rattle Watch was later produced by the City Burghers. Eight famous people made up this party. At night, these men patrolled the streets with big wooden rattles. If they could spot a burn, they would spin the rattles. This alerted the people that a fire was going on. In establishing bucket brigades, the Rattle Watch then directed responding people.
The first fire engine company went into service in January of 1678. Thomas Atkins was the captain (foreman) of the company. Benjamin Franklin founded the Union Fire firm in Philadelphia in 1736.
In firefighting, other founding fathers have played a part as well. George Washington was an Alexandria, Virginia, volunteer firefighter. He was part of the Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Company, and he bought and donated a new fire engine to the town in 1774. The first vehicle for the city was the fire engine.
In the context of government-organized departments, the United States before the time of the Civil War did not employ trained firefighters. Before then, to be the first to respond to a disaster, novice fire brigades competed with each other. While it would be nice to believe that they reacted quickly from the goodness of their hearts, the fire brigades responded quickly and decided to be first to collect the insurance companies’ payout.
Underwriters in several cities around the nation have recruited their own Salvage Corps. The first female firefighter we were acquainted with was Molly Williams. During a blizzard in 1818, she took her place on dragropes. She was responsible for pushing the pumper through the deep snow toward the flames.
Though fireplaces are now a place to meet professionals, they used to be a kind of social gathering place. Instead of individual members, the money given to a brigade for fighting a fire went into the fire house’s budget.