Firefighting in 1900

Updated: Jun 25

Early Paid Firefighters

Dangers of the Job

Line of Duty Deaths

Firefighting in 1900 was a very different job than it is today. The basic mission was the same as today. That is to save lives and property from fire. However, the technological advancements and social progress that have changed our society over the past century also have transformed the job of firefighting. Despite all this change, the original and greatest weapon in the war on fire is the firefighter. Without the courage and determination of firefighters even the most modern fire engine cannot extinguish a lick of fire.


America's first firefighters were members of the community at large, who formed improvised bucket brigades when a fire broke out in their community. Later civic-minded men formed volunteer fire companies in their communities starting in the mid-1700s.