“New Look” in the Columbus Fire Department
As of September 1, 1948, Chief Walter G. Strickfaden of the Columbus, Ohio, Fire Department, ordered the entire fire fighting personnel into a new uniform and top coat. This is the first major change in the fireman’s uniform since the days of the horse-drawn equipment and it was greeted with enthusiasm by the entire department.
The old uniform was of heavy 18ounce all-wool cloth, which is too heavy for modern day usage. The fireman’s coat was single breasted, while the officers wore a double breasted coat, and this entailed additional expense upon promotion.
The new uniform is an all-wool 16ounce blue serge double-breasted coat, alike for all members, and is of modern design patterned along the same lines as a regular dress coat. The fireman’s coat is trimmed with silver buttons while the officers wear brass. The top coat is of the same weight cloth, double breasted, with belted back. Officers’ caps are of the same cloth with bell top, while the fireman’s cap is of the same cloth but with an 8-point crown.
To make the picture still brighter the fire fighters now receive clothing reimbursement of $150 for new fire fighters and $75 annually thereafter for the older men. This has increased the pride of personal appearance and has definitely been a morale booster throughout the entire department.