Firefighters Keep Handwritten Logs in Digital Age

Firefighting is known for its traditions. In Columbus (IN) firefighters still keep handwritten records of every run and activity of the city’s six stations despite the fire department’s official records being kept electronically in computerized databases, reports WISH TV 8.

The fire department has “day books” that date back decades stashed away at the stations. Many of the journals are kept in the department’s administrative offices at Station 1, where the oldest book on hand is from 1948.

Firefighters say the books represent more than the chore of writing down their daily duties. They also serve as historical documents of events that shaped the fire department, firefighters and the city.

“This job isn’t just a job,” said David Dwyer, the fire department’s deputy chief of operations. “Every day we make history.”

The entries are recorded in ink and with pencils, handwritten or in cursive. The character of each entry is as unique as the firefighter who wrote it.

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