Leadership

A Century of Mechanized Fire Apparatus

Issue 8 and Volume 119.

A Century of Mechanized Fire Apparatus The story of mechanized fire fighting equipment is embraced within the history of a little over a century. And the steam fire engine—first successfully used in 1853—was the apparatus which ushered in the era of professional fire brigades and gave impetus to the development of apparatus which would not be propelled and operated by the muscle power of the volunteers. In January of 1853, A. B. Latta, of Cincinnati, completed his new steam fire engine and although these pioneer efforts resulted in the production of an extremely heavy machine, the engine was bought by the Cincinnati Fire Department. This first successful steamer, the Joe Ross, marked the beginning of a new epoch in fire fighting —power-driven apparatus manned by paid, professional firemen. The publicity which followed the sensational trials of the Joe Ross soon brought on a rush of builders to get into the…

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