Detroit Fire Department

Written by Will Baum
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Detroit Fire Department merchandise of all kinds is available online. If you're in the Detroit Fire Department, or just an admirer, a T-shirt or hat bearing the force's impressive winged logo is just clicks away. Wearing Detroit Fire Department colors is just one small way of paying respect to the men and women who put themselves in danger every day to save us from watching our homes go up in smoke.

Detroit Fire Department History

In early American cities, fires were a regular danger. Wooden houses and open flames combined to make enormous, devastating blazes frighteningly commonplace. Detroit experienced one such fire on June 11, 1805. The pipe of a baker's helper set a stable alight. Soon the fire was spreading. The consequences to the city of Detroit, then just a century old, were catastrophic.

More tightly organized volunteer bucket brigades were established to protect the city from a repeat performance. Hand-operated pumping engines were provided by the city. If the volunteers wanted anything more, they had to provide it themselves. Like all American volunteer forces of the day, discipline was an enormous problem. Rival companies were as likely to do battle with each other as with raging flames.

Detroit got its first paid firefighters in 1860. A steam fire engine was purchased that could pump 600 gallons of water a minute. Today, the Detroit Fire Department is a thoroughly modern force, with know-how and technology to insure that if something destroys Detroit again, it won't be fire.

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