How Fire Stations Evolved

fire departmentThe history of fire stations started when ancient Egyptians invented a machinery to put off fires. But the fire stations back then was simply a storage area for firefighting equipment that carries water to put off building fires. The first accounted fire station was established by Egnatius Rufus who provided fire service for free. Fire fighting in Rome was not initially a free service and was more of a lucrative business for a wealthy Roman named Cassus. He made a business in putting off burning buildings until Augustus, the emperor, took this idea and created his own fire brigade which was established in 24 BC.

The emperors fire brigade consisted of 600 men who were assigned to different fire stations in Rome. It was perhaps that beginning of the history of fire stations as Augustus created these establishments solely to protect properties and people from devastating fires that had plagued Rome at that time. His fire brigade patrolled Rome to check for fires and even crimes. Yet in the 17th century, the fire departments took a different image when insurance companies started to establish their own fire fighting brigades to protect the properties of their own clients. It happened after the Great Fire of London broke out in the year 1666. Seeing that this could become a lucrative business, 10 other insurance companies established their own fire fighting system.

In 1679, marks the history of fire stations in America that were made to serve and protect the community without a fee. The first publicly funded fire department was built in Boston, Massachusetts. Nonetheless, insurance companies that offer fire protection services was still ongoing until the 19th century wherein each city had finally established their own central fire department to provide service to the public. The move led several insurance companies to close. This initiative not only protected the interest of business owners but also the life and properties of the common people. Firefighting became a civil service during this era and it also further fostered the existence of volunteer firefighters until today. Truly, we are lucky to live in this modern era where our government has made measures to protect and serve the community as a whole.