Los Angeles County Fire Department

Written by Will Baum
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The Los Angeles County Fire Department came into being in September of 1871. Prior to that date, Los Angeles fires were tended to by volunteer brigades. Since houses were constructed of wood and often contained open fires for cooking and heat, giant conflagrations were a common threat to every American city in its infancy.

Technology was also a factor. Old-time fire fighting sometimes involved nothing more than bucket brigades. It wasn't till 1876 that the Los Angeles County Fire Department got its first effective horse-drawn hook and ladder. Since its inception, the Los Angeles County Fire Department has faced countless deadly blazes. Among the most noteworthy are the Los Angeles Times building explosion of 1910, the canyon fires of 1961, the DC-10 crash of 1978, and, of course, the Los Angeles Riots of 1992.

During the L.A. riots, firefighters not only faced dozens of man-made blazes across the city, they also faced an angry populace preventing them from getting to the fires. In some cases, firefighters were shot at by rioters. Enraged the verdict in the Rodney King police brutality case, rioters in South Central Los Angeles went after all outsiders, regardless of whether or not they were there to help.

Los Angeles County Fire Department Merchandise

It's not as if entering burning buildings wasn't trouble enough. The firefighters of Los Angeles, like firefighters everywhere, deserve our deepest respect and gratitude. One way to put that gratitude on display is by wearing caps and T-shirts emblazoned with the department's logo. Check the Internet for fire department gear representing forces across the country.


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