George Washington’s Impact on Fire Fighting
In 1774, two years before the American colonies declared independence, George Washington joined the Alexandria Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter. In 1775 Washington purchased the town’s very first fire engine.
According to the FASNY Fire Museum, after Washington was elected president he would reportedly visit various local fire companies to inquire about developments in apparatus and speak with firemen.
Not much information remains about Washington’s involvement with the Alexandria Fire Department; however, we do have the following graphics. The image on the left depicts a young Washington pulling a fire pumper, while the image on the right belongs to a mural in Cambridge, depicting the firefighters of Engine Company No. 5. George Washington is pictured holding a pail to commemorate the time he spent in Cambridge during the revolution, and in recognition of his service as a volunteer firefighter in Virginia.