The history of the firefighter began in ancient Rome in the third century, during the reign of Augustus. There is evidence of firefighting in Ancient Egypt before that. Marcus Licinius Crassus established the first Roman fire department. But did you know how firefighters protect themselves before the respirators were invented?
Before the invention of respirators, firefighters had to grow a full beard. Before a fire, firefighters would soak their beards in water and clamp them in their teeth to act as filters, preventing more significant ashes from entering.
Firefighters for Helping or For Business?
Marcus Licinius Crassus established the first Roman fire department. He took advantage of the fact that there were no firefighters in Rome.
Crassus formed his brigade of 500 firefighters, who rushed to burning buildings as soon as they heard the call for help. When the firefighters arrived at the fire, they did nothing while their Crassus bargained with the property owner over the price of their services. If Crassus could not agree on a fair price, the firefighters let the building burn down. (Source: Fire Rescue)
The Unique Firefighting Strategy in Ancient Japan
Japanese firefighters fought fires in a different way from 1603 to 1867. They wet themselves with hoses to make themselves less flammable, causing their uniforms to weigh up to 75 pounds.
They used pole hooks to pull the buildings down and extinguish the fire. They thought that preventing the fire from spreading was more important than saving the burning structure. Only 5% of all recorded fires in Japan over the centuries resulted in death, seemingly proving their methods. (Source: Fire Rescue)
Why are Dalmatians Used as Firefighting Dogs Before?
It was because dalmatians got along well with horses. This was back in the day when firefighters used horse-drawn carriages. They are good at protecting the carriage and equipment while the firefighters are performing their duties and could run alongside their carriages for long periods. Nowadays, the dalmatian’s role has shifted to that of a companion. obviously due to technological upgrades over the years. (Source: Sky Saver)
Who Was the First Woman Firefighter?
Molly Williams was the first recorded woman and the first known black woman to serve as an official firefighter in New York City in 1815. She was also one of the first African Americans to work as a professional firefighter. Unfortunately, she was a slave to Benjamin Aymar, a member of Oceanus Engine Company.
Due to influenza, very few male firefighters were available during the 1818 blizzard. Molly stepped up and did almost all of the work, trudging through the snow with the fire pump for emergencies. Nowadays, most firefighters are still men, while women account for just 4 percent of all firefighters. (Source: Sky Saver)
Is Fire the Most Common Cause of Deaths in the Profession?
Heart attacks are the leading cause of death among firefighters. Over 45%of firefighters who die on the job die from heart problems. When putting out a fire, firefighters are 12 times more likely to have a heart attack than performing non-emergency duties. (Source: Sky Saver)