My F.D. had it's Centennial back in 1997. Since then I've been to several Centennial celebrations for surrounding F.D's. I was surprised to find out that some area F.D's are only 50 years old or so, some are even younger! Just curious how old everyone else's F.D's are. I'm sure there's some Departments on the east coast that are getting close to their Bi-centennial.
my dept will be getting ready to turn 208 yrs next year. It was started in 1803, DeSoto is a railroad town, we have had several railroads in our town, all have used it to build rail cars or repair them. My dept has had to use old hand drawn carts for over 100 years, our first motorised truck was a 27'ford, wich still exists and runs well.
In July 10. 1878. was founded professional (payed) fire departement in city of Pula (now in Croatia). By the order of city council, 48 firefighter and commander were employed. Two troops of 24 men each, devided in firemen and climbers, working in 3 shifts of 8 men each troop. First rolebook of fire service was 4 months later. City council founded 4 member fire committee with 3 member and fire inspector.
Why professional fire department, and not volonteers ? The reason is in a fire in year 1878 that erupted suddenly, and the city was unprepared for this. The fire was quickly extinct by professional industrial firefighters of nearby shipyard. The mayor and city council decided to prevent danger events in future.
This is a raw translation of parts of history of the fire brigade Pula (JVP Pula). The whole article is in croatian on www.jvp-pula.hr.