Although the technology, training and skills of our modern-day firefighters are ever evolving, the idea behind being a firefighter is ancient history.
There is evidence that there were firefighters in Ancient Egypt, but the first known fire brigade was back in the 3rd century while under the rule of Augustus by a man by the name of Marcus Crassus. When a building caught fire, Crassus and his men would show up, he would negotiate with the property owner, and either put out the fire or let it burn to the ground based on if a deal was struck or not.
Later, Emperor Nero formed the Vigiles, a group of firefighters that also served as a police force. When they were alerted that there was a fire, they would pass buckets of water from person to person until it reached the building.
In 1631, there was a major fire in Boston which is what sparked the first fire regulations in North America. Just a few years later in New York, fire wardens were appointed which established the beginnings of the first public fire department in the U.S.
Throughout history, we find famous figures have been involved in fire departments George Washington was a volunteer firefighter in Alexandra, VA. Benjamin Franklin established the Union Fire Company in Philadelphia. Even some modern-day celebrities have served such as Steve Buscemi.
At LION, we take pride in history as we’ve served the first responder community for over 180 years. If you’re interested in learning more about our history as a family-owned business, take a look here.