Featuring more than 300 years of firefighting history
Museums that chronicle the history of firefighting are located in small towns and urban centers around the country. No doubt each one has something unique to offer. We scoured the Fire Museum Network and chose one museum to feature in this post—the FASNY (Firemen’s Association of the State of New York) Museum of Firefighting, which contains some of the world’s top collections of firefighting apparatus, equipment, gear and memorabilia. This museum totals more than 50,000 square feet, so the best way to experience it is by going there yourself. Still, we uncovered a few gems located in the museum. Here’s what we found.
- A 20-foot-long brass sliding pole from the City of Auburn Fire Department in Auburn, New York.
- A bucket carriage used by the Continental Bucket Co. No. 1 of Jamaica, Long Island, New York.
- Speaking trumpets used as early as 1752 by fire chiefs and officers to shout orders to their men.
- Fire axes, ranging in size and style from a small hatchet to a large battle axe.
- A Browder Life Saving Machine, measuring 9 to 9 ½ feet in diameter and once used to catch individuals who escaped a fire by jumping from a high-story window.
- A leather firefighter mask manufactured in London in 1878. The mask is attached to a hose, which is attached to a foot bellows. A second firefighter provided air to the firefighter wearing the mask by operating the foot bellows. The firefighters communicated via signals: 1 tug meant more air; 2 tugs, less air; 3 tugs, help me out.
For more information about the museum, visit www.fasnyfiremuseum.com.
Step out Friday night and support the Lakewood FD Combat Challenge team!
Friday, May 20th, 2011
Panini’s of Westlake
23800 Detroit Rd.
Westlake, OH 44145
Help Lakewood Firefighters and Local 382 raise money to help their team
participate in the “Toughest Two Minutes in Sports”. The team will be
participating in the Firefighter Combat Challenge circuit in 2011 with hopes
of qualifying for National and World competitions again this November.
Tickets are $20 and include all you care to eat pizza, wings, quesadillas
and mini panini sandwiches. Two drink tickets included with each ticket as
well as 50/50 raffle, and several gift packages raffled. A gift card side
board and a one night stay at Kalahari waterpark and hotel, and a 42″ Vizio
HDTV also to be raffled off.
Fire-Dex is proud to have this talented team of firefighters wearing special Fire-Dex gear. Last month, they had a tandem team place 4th and 5th out of 12 teams. Mark Koehler, Lakewood Combat Challenge team member, said the gear “worked out great, much lighter and more maneuverable without a doubt.” That’s what we like to hear!
Be watching our Facebook page for updates on the Lakewood Firefighters and Local 382 Combat Challenge team and their journey to the National and World competitions in November. Good luck to them!
Firefighting is tough, and at Fire-Dex we recognize your everyday challenges. In a constantly changing world, the nature of fighting fire is constantly evolving with the development of new threats, new materials, and new technologies. Since outer shell protection is the firefighter’s first line of defense, there is no room for compromise. That is why we only offer premium outer shell protection, like in our H81 Fire Hoods. The H81 fire hood is a 2-layer, long, seamless bib with notched shoulder. Its exclusive fabric combines unmatched flame and thermal protection with unsurpassed strength and durability.
- Full hemmed face opening and bottom
- Flatlock seam construction
- Double layer
- Sewn with Nomex® thread
- H81 – Long seamless bib with shoulder notch
- Fuller sizing for one size fits all comfort
Fire-Dex® strives to offer the highest quality products and services through an environment of continuous improvement and innovative technologies. The Fire-Dex® Technology Lab is an on-site fabric-testing laboratory where fabrics and material combinations can be tested against NFPA standards in-house.
The Fire-Dex® Technology Lab tests materials and product ensembles to continually promote product improvement and innovation. Our Technology Lab rigorously tests fabrics, seams and ensembles to ensure compliance to NFPA standards and to explore new technologies on the market.
Although today’s firefighter is protected from heat and falling debris with clothing made of modern materials, this was not always the case. For more than 100 years, firefighters donned nothing more than a rubber or canvas slicker, a wide-brimmed leather helmet and rubber boots. Often, gloves were not even a consideration. It’s no wonder their bodies had to withstand multiple scars and wounds.
Without adequate clothing to protect them, firefighters during this time period used distance as their primary method of protection. Unfortunately, this left little margin for error. When conditions changed rapidly, which they frequently do in the midst of a fire, their clothing did not provide much protection. Even as recently as the 1960s, firefighters wore clothing that could quickly burn or melt if the fire got too close.
The Space Age ushered in new materials and manufacturing processes that could be used to produce everything from coats, pants and gloves to protective footwear and helmets. By the 1970s, clothing for firefighters had advanced dramatically. And today, firefighters are wrapped in materials that provide an outer layer that neither liquid nor heat can permeate. Still, the added challenge comes with producing clothing that is not only safe but also allows the firefighter to move about with relative ease. To add to the challenge, a firefighter must be able to dress in less than 60 seconds. No small feat, for sure.
Smokey Bear’s “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires” campaign is the longest-running public service campaign in U.S. history. The stern, but approachable, bear wearing a ranger hat, jeans and boots has taught generations of Americans about fire safety and prevention over the years. But many people don’t know that there’s a real bear behind this furry campaign.
It all started in New Mexico in 1950. Firefighters were battling a blaze in the Lincoln National Forest when they noticed a bear cub wandering close to the fire with no sign of its mother nearby. As the fire spread, the bear cub took refuge in a tree. Once the 17,000-acre fire was under control, firefighters rescued the lone bear who had incurred some burns from the charred tree. The cub was flown to Sante Fe for veterinary aid, and the endearing story of the cub soon spread throughout the country. Once the cub recovered, it was sent to the National Zoo in Washington D.C. where it became known as Smokey Bear.
In 2010 alone, more than 4 million acres of land burned in the United States, a testament to the face that Smokey’s legacy still has an important role to play now—and in the years to come.