Who was St. Florian?
Born in 250 AD he was a member of the Roman Army and was sentenced to death by fire by Emporer Diocletian when he refused to follow orders and persecute all Christians in the area. Standing on the pile erected to be set on fire killing him, Florian challenged the Roman soldiers to start the fire and said, "If you do, I will climb to heaven on the flames." Fearful of Florian, the soldiers had him drowned instead. Florian was made a Saint by Pope Lucius III, and later a person was reported to have been saved from fire by praying to St. Florian. Since then St. Florian has generally been regarded as the patron Saint of the fire service.
Why is the Maltese Cross the symbol of the fire service?
Also known as the Cross Pattee-Nowry. The symbol is essentially borrowed from the Knights of St John of Jerusalem, a charitable organization that helped the sick and poor by building hospitals and clinics. Later, they assisted the Knights of the Crusades in an effort to assist the Island of Malta - from which the Maltese Cross derives its name.
Why are Dalmatians considered firehouse dogs?
Dogs were helpful to direct and guard horses during the era of the horse drawn fire engine. Dalmatians were favored probably because of their size, friendly nature, ability to train, and ability to care for themselves. Likewise urban and nearby departments gave away puppies as new litters were born thus creating a fire service tradition. Dalmatians have shared the barns and the hunt courses with horses for centuries, so when fire-apparatus was horse-drawn, nearly every firehouse had its resident dalmatian to help direct the horses, keep the horses company, and guard the firehouse. The horses are gone from fire stations today, but the Dalmatians aren't!
What is The Fire Triangle?
In order to have a fire, there must be three elements: Fuel -- something which will burn,Heat -- enough to make the fuel burn, Air -- more specifically, Oxygen. Usually these three elements are expressed as a triangle, called The Fire Triangle. All three elements must be present at the same time to have a fire. Fire will burn until one or more of the elements is removed, then will go out.
First Volunteer Fire Company in America
In 1736 in Philadelphia, PA, Benjamin Franklin formed the first volunteer fire company, called the Union Fire Company. Franklin served on it as America's first volunteer fire chief.
First Paid Fire Department in America
A large fire in Boston in 1679, led to the organization of the first paid fire department in North America, if not the world. Boston selectman imported a fire engine from England and employed a fire chief, Thomas Atkins, and 12 fire fighters to operate it.
David B. Kenyon, Captain of Engine Company No. 21 of the Chicago Fire Department, was the inventor of the sliding pole in 1878. Information from: A Synoptical History of the Chicago Fire... , published by the Benevolent Association of the Paid Fire Department of Chicago, Chicago, 1908.
First Automatic Sprinkler
The idea of automatic sprinkler protection dates back to about 1860. The first automatic sprinkler system patented in the United States was developed by Philip W. Pratt in 1872 in Abington, MA. From 1852 to 1885, perforated pipe systems were used extensively in textile mills throughout New England, and from 1874 to 1878 Henry S. Parmalee of New Haven, Connecticut, continued design improvements on his invention: the first practical automatic sprinkler head.
First Fire Alarm Telegraph
The fire alarm telegraph was invented by William F. Channing of Boston, MA, and Moses G. Farmer of Salem, MA, in 1847. After many attempts, Channing was successful in getting the city of Boston to agree to test the device. Channing, working with Farmer, tested the system solved the problems, and installed the first municipal fire alarm system using a telegraph in Boston, MA, in 1852.