Provincetown Fire Department

Provincetown Fire Department

Provincetown, Mass., though situated far away from any large city, handicapped by many things that would make a close vicinity to a large town very desirable, has otic thing of which it is justly proud, an excellent and efficient fire department. The first movement towards a fire department was made in town meeting, March 7, 1836, when it was voted to buy an engine. Joseph P. Johnson was appointed to make the purchase, and the old Washington was built on purpose for this town. After 40 years of service it was retired and given a resting place in the basement of Town Hall. In 1850 the Franklin was added and next came Mazeppa No. 3 in 1854, but not put in service until 1808. and the same year Excelsior No. 4 was added. Rescue Hook and Ladder No. 1 came in 1850, and in 1869 Ulysses No. 1 was purchased. In 1871 Franklin No. 2 was added, and in 1873 the Relief Engine No. 2 was put in service, named Tiger, numbered 5 and had a volunteer company attached to it, composed of young men who received their fire education in this way and then entered the other companies. The first attempt to get a steam fire engine was made at the town meeting in February. 1867, when the town voted $11,600 to buy one, but nothing further was done until the annual town meeting. 1889. when it was voted almost unanimously to best in the United States. He says the men buy a steamer and chemical, which was done and the steamer named John D. Hilliard. During the debate in 1869 one strong headed old fellow was opposed to the purchase on the ground that he believed “cold water would put out a fire as well as boiling water and there would be no danger of scalding people around the fire.” In 1850 the board of engineers was formed with E. G. Boring as chief, followed by Eben S. Smith, who was succeeded by John D. Hilliard, who was appointed May 7. 1872. and held the office 25 years The present board of engineers is composed of J. H. Barnett, chief; T. J. Lewis, L. A. Law. A W. Fuller and J. E. Callaghan.

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