Fire Trucks – A Brief History

Were you a child who grew up loving and playing with fire trucks? Could you remember how badly you Truckwanted to ride on one, drive one and be a fire-fighter who could use one someday? Even if you weren’t you can still take a few minutes right now and learn about the history of fire trucks.

In 1841 the very first steam powered fire engine that was self-propelled was built in New York City. What might seem a little humorous now looking back, is that it wasn’t a popular idea at all. It was regarded as an unsafe and unreliable tool by fire-fighters and therefore they didn’t want it to be part of the fire-fighting arsenal. Years would still need to pass before the idea caught on more and the steam powered fire engine could be depended on.

Just when things seem to be getting settled, new changes were made and the reliance upon steam was at an end. By 1910 the use of motor-driven fire trucks was in fashion and steam engines were nearly all but a memory by 1920. When motorized vehicles became much more popular than anything being used for fire engines, they were then converted and updated. The Ahrens-Fox Manufacturing Company that hailed out of Cincinnati was leading the charge in these transformations that began around 1913. Mack trucks began to be used in 1911 for the manufacturing of fire trucks and this soon propelled them into a world leader in such a venture.

When buildings began growing in size by the 1930s, fire-fighters needed to adapt and come up with new ways in order to reach the extra floors of the structures. Ladders became more seriously considered by this time although they were previously in existence. Eventually someone gathered their thoughts and decided to apply the ladders straight onto the trucks. It was then possible to use ladders to reach heights of up to 46 meters after the creation of the turntable ladders. World War II became a very industrialized time period for many things and for fire-fighting it was no exception. A bucket that was connected to folding arm was then being installed onto fire trucks and they were later known as, aerial work platforms. They were mainly used to make contact with the inaccessible edges of building structures.

By the time the 1960s rolled around, our fire truck of contemporary times was just becoming characterized. Encased seating for fire-fighters was launched by this time as well as modern ladders and water pumps. Multi-tasking fire-trucks became a hot item and were divided into three categories of trucks: specialized, pumpers and turntable ladders. Different fire-related situations called for specific trucks to be used for battle.

Today the most frequently used pumps are known as triple-combination pumpers. They have been solidified to the fire apparatus of present times and so has the hosing system and water tank. These pumpers can also be referred to as just engines or wagons and they are ideally equipped with the hardware that brings the utmost convenience to fire-fighters when attacking a blaze.
I suppose that time can only tell us if technology will be any help to the efficiency for the fire-fighting of the future.

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