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History of Fire Fighting. United States. In 1631 Boston's governor John Winthrop outlawed wooden chimneys and thatched roofs.

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united states
United States
  • In 1631 Boston's governor John Winthrop outlawed wooden chimneys and thatched roofs.
  • In 1648, the New Amsterdam governor Peter Stuyvesant appointed four men to act as fire wardens. They were empowered to inspect all chimneys and to fine any violators of the rules. The city burghers later appointed eight prominent citizens to the "Rattle Watch" - these men volunteered to patrol the streets at night carrying large wooden rattles. If a fire was seen, the men spun the rattles, then directed the responding citizens to form bucket brigades
  • On January 27, 1678 the first fire engine company went into service with its captain (foreman) Thomas Atkins. In 1736 Benjamin Franklin established the Union Fire Company in Philadelphia.
  • the United States did not have government-run fire departments until around the time of the American Civil War. Prior to this time, private fire brigades competed with one another to be the first to respond to a fire because insurance companies paid brigades to save buildings.Underwriters also employed their own Salvage Corps in some cities
  • Fire houses were a sort of social gathering place rather than a place where professionals would meet, and the money paid to the brigade went into the house's fund rather than to individual members. It was not all that uncommon to see someone "squatting" on a fire hydrant by placing a barrel over it so other fire brigades could not use it
modern development
Modern Development
  • The first fire brigades in the modern sense were created in France in the early 18th century. In 1699, a man with bold commercial ideas, François du Mouriez du Périer (grandfather of French Revolution's general Charles François Dumouriez), solicited an audience with King Louis XIV. Greatly interested in Jan Van der Heiden's invention, he successfully demonstrated the new pumps and managed to convince the king to grant him the monopoly of making and selling "fire-preventing portable pumps" throughout the kingdom of France. François du Mouriez du Périer offered 12 pumps to the City of Paris, and the first Paris Fire Brigade, known as the Compagnie des gardes-pompes (literally the "Company of Pump Guards"), was created in 1716. François du Mouriez du Périer was appointed directeur des pompes de la Ville de Paris ("director of the City of Paris's pumps"), i.e. chief of the Paris Fire Brigade, and the position stayed in his family until 1760. In the following years, other fire brigades were created in the large French cities. It is around that time that appeared the current French word pompier ("firefighter"), whose literal meaning is "pumper". On March 11, 1733 the French government decided that the interventions of the fire brigades would be free of charge. This was decided because people always waited until the last moment to call the fire brigades to avoid paying the fee, and it was often too late to stop fires. From 1750 on, the French fire brigades became para-military units and received uniforms. In 1756 the use of a protective helmet for firefighters was recommended by King Louis XV, but it took many more years before the measure was actually enforced on the ground.
slide5

Jamestown, Virginia Fire 1608

  • In North America, Jamestown, Virginia was virtually destroyed in a fire in January, 1608. There were no full-time paid firefighters in America until 1850. Even after the formation of paid fire companies in the United States, there were disagreements and often fights over territory. New York City companies were famous for sending runners out to fires with a large barrel to cover the hydrant closest to the fire in advance of the engines.Often fights would break out between the runners and even the responding fire companies for the right to fight the fire and receive the insurance money that would be paid to the company that fought it. Interestingly, during the 1800s and early 1900s volunteer fire companies served not only as fire protection but as political machines. The most famous volunteer firefighter politician is Boss Tweed, head of the notorious Tammany Hall political machine, who got his start in politics as a member of the Americus Engine Company Number 6 ("The Big Six") in New York City.
great fire of london
Great Fire of London

In the UK, the Great Fire of London in 1666 set in motion changes which laid the foundations for organized firefighting in the future. In the wake of the Great Fire, the City Council established the first fire insurance company , "The Fire Office", in 1667, which employed small teams of Thames watermen as firefighters and provided them with uniforms and arm badges showing the company to which they belonged.

edinburgh fire engine establishment
Edinburgh Fire Engine Establishment

The first organized municipal fire brigade in the world was established in Edinburgh, Scotland, when the Edinburgh Fire Engine Establishment was formed in 1824, led by James Braidwood. London followed in 1832 with the LondonFire Engine Establishment.

1853 cincinnati ohio
1853 Cincinnati, Ohio

On April 1, 1853, the Cincinnati, Ohio (USA) Fire Department became the first full-time paid professional fire department in the United States, and the first in the world to use steam fire engines.

The first horse-drawn steam engine for fighting fires was invented in 1829, but not accepted in structural firefighting until 1860, and ignored for another two years afterwards. Internal combustion engine fire engines arrived in 1907, built in the United States, leading to the decline and disappearance of steam engines by 1925.

today s firefighting duties
Today’s Firefighting duties
  • Firefighters' goals are to save life, property and the environment. A fire can rapidly spread and endanger many lives; however, with modern firefighting techniques, catastrophe is usually, but not always, avoided. To prevent fires from starting, a firefighter's duties include public education and conducting fire inspections.
  • Because firefighters are often the first responders to people in critical conditions, firefighters provide many other valuable services to the community they serve, such as: Emergency medical services, as emergency medical technicians or as licensed paramedics, staffing ambulances.
  • Hazardous materials mitigation (HAZMAT)
  • Heavy rescue
  • Search and rescue
  • Community disaster support
  • In addition, firefighters also service in specialized fields, such as:
  • Aircraft/airport rescue
  • Wild land fire suppression
  • Shipboard and military fire and rescue
  • Tactical paramedic support ("SWAT medics")
  • In the US, firefighters also serve the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as Urban search and rescue (USAR) team members.
firefighting today
Firefighting Today

Today, fire and rescue remains a mix of paid, call, and volunteer responders. Many but not all urban areas are served by large, paid, firefighting teams

science of extinguishment
Science of Extinguishment
  • Fire Elements
  • There are four elements needed to start and sustain a fire and/or flame. These elements are classified in the “Fire Tetrahedron”. These four elements of the “Fire Tetrahedron” are:
  • Reducing Agent (Fuel)
  • Heat
  • Self-sustained chemical chain reaction
  • Oxidizing Agent (Oxygen)
  • The reducing agent, or fuel, is the substance or material that is being oxidized or burned in the combustion process. The most common fuels contain carbon along with combinations of hydrogen and oxygen. Heat is the energy component of the fire tetrahedron. When heat comes into contact with a fuel, it provides the energy necessary for ignition, causes the continuous production and ignition of fuel vapors or gases so that the combustion reaction can continue, and causes the vaporization of solid and liquid fuels. The self-sustained chemical chain reaction is a complex reaction that requires a fuel, an oxidizer, and heat energy to come together in a very specific way. A chain reaction is a series of reactions that occur in sequence with the results of each individual reaction being added to the rest. This happens in the science of fire, but is self-sustaining in that it continues without interruption. An oxidizing agent is a material or substance that when the proper conditions exist will release gases, including oxygen. This is crucial to the sustainment of a flame or fire.
science of extinguishment1
Science of Extinguishment
  • A fire can be extinguished or put out by taking away any of the four components of the “Fire Tetrahedron” One method to extinguish a fire is to use water. The first way that water extinguishes a fire is by cooling, which heat from the fire. This is possible through water’s ability to absorb massive amounts of heat by converting to water vapor. Without the heat the fuel no longer has the conditions required to produce oxygen to sustain the fire. The second way water extinguishes a fire is by smothering the fire. When water is heated to its boiling point it converts to water vapor. When this conversion takes place it dilutes the oxygen in the air, thus removing one of the elements that the fire requires to burn. This can be done with water by adding foam.
  • Another way to extinguish a fire is fuel removal. This can be accomplished by stopping the flow of liquid or gaseous fuel or by removing solid fuel in the path of a fire. Another way to accomplish this is to allow the fire to burn until all the fuel is consumed, at which point the fire will self extinguish.
  • Another way to extinguish a fire is by chemical flame inhibition. This can be accomplished through dry chemical and halogenated agents. These agents interrupt the combustion reaction and stop flaming. This method is effective on gas and liquid fuels because they must flame to burn.
use of water
Use of Water
  • Often, the main way to extinguish a fire is to spray with water. The water has two roles:
  • in contact with the fire, it vaporizes, and this vapor displaces the oxygen (the volume of water vapor is 1,700 times greater than liquid water, at 1000 degrees Fahrenheit (540 °C) this expansion is over 4,000 times); leaving the fire with not enough combustive agent to continue, and it dies out.
  • the vaporization of water absorbs the heat; it cools the smoke, air, walls, objects in the room, etc., that could act as further fuel, and thus prevents one of the means that fires grow, which is by "jumping" to nearby heat/fuel sources to start new fires, which then combine.
  • The extinction is thus a combination of "asphyxia" and cooling. The flame itself is suppressed by asphyxia, but the cooling is the most important element to master a fire in a closed area.
  • Water may be accessed by pressurized fire hydrant, pumped from water sources such as lakes or rivers, delivered by tanker truck, or dropped from aircraft tankers in fighting forest fires.