Articles by Year: 2013
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Our weekly prize will be a pair of Fire-Dex G1 Structural Gloves. So, get ready, be watching and enter each week.
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January is peak time for portable heater fires. While portable heating fires were small in number, the consequences can be substantial. Many of these fires are preventable.
The fireboat was invented when a firefighter attached a small hand pump on a boat in 1809. Not until after the Civil War was the boat an essential part of fire departments. In the 1860s the country had become a major contributor in international trade due to the industrial revolution. The ports and waterfronts became busier and busier, increasing fire risks.
To combat these increased risks and actual fires, the first fireboats were purchased and used specifically for fire rescue in the United States in Boston, Massachusetts in 1873; the William F. Flanders. New York followed shortly in 1875 with the William F. Havemeyer. Fireboats were steam driven until 1931 when fuel costs got too high. To reduce costs, the boats started running on diesel eventually replacing the steam driven boats.
The New York fire department is well known for its fireboats and fire rescues. Their fleet of fireboats was at its peak in the 1910s to 1940s. During this time, they had 10 fireboats in operation. These fireboats have acted in many historic events. They pumped water onto the World Trade Center on 9/11 and helped rescue passengers from Flight 1549 that landed in the Hudson River in 2009.
Pictured above is the John J. Harvey fireboat. Photo credit: http://www.fireboat.org/
A firefighter’s job is to protect the community. If a fire occurs, firefighters will be the first on the seen to put it out. They cannot do it alone. Firefighters need protection from the flames as well. Since the early 1900s, the firefighter helmet has protected the firefighters from falling debris, water, and burning embers. The very first helmet was made of leather and metal with a wide brim.
Technology advancements changed the helmet in mid 1900s. Aluminum, fiberglass, and plastics were used to improve the durability. The new designs were not popular and the traditional helmets remained the number one choice. Manufacturers decided to keep the same style, while incorporating the new materials in the interior. The leather coverings were still included. The helmets had different colors to acknowledge rank. There were white for the chief, black for engine companies, ladder companies wore red, and rescue companies wore blue.
Today, the helmets still have the same design as when they were first introduced. A few changes have been made to increase safety. Eye Shields and earflaps have been added and yellow is now a common color helmet to help with visibility.
Click here to enter our 2013 Helmet Giveaway.