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Firefighters - The First Responders

Vintage photos of the honorable men and women throughout history who educate us about and protect us from the hazards of fire.

Where there are people, there are structures - and where there are structures, there are fires. Professional and volunteer firefighters are among the most important people in a society. Even ancient Rome had an organized firefighting force and ancient Egypt had firefighting equipment - as far back as the 3rd century BC!

There are currently over a million firefighters serving in about 27,000 fire departments in the United States. Around 69% of those firemen and women are volunteers. While 100 or fewer firefighters die in the US each year, there are other hazards to these brave men and women. The long term effects of exposure to dangerous chemicals released in fires are still being examined and the stress from the exertion required during firefighting may contribute to long term heart problems. And yet, every year brave people volunteer - paid and unpaid - to save our homes, businesses, and forests.

Perhaps the attitude - and intent - of every fire department can be summed up in the mission statement of the New York Fire Department: "As first responders to fires, public safety and medical emergencies, disasters and terrorist acts, FDNY protects the lives and property of New York City residents and visitors. The Department advances public safety through its fire prevention, investigation, and education programs. The timely delivery of these services enables the FDNY to make significant contributions to the safety of New York City and homeland security efforts."

These photos of actual firefighters exemplify and honor those noble purposes.

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Taken in .
A photo of Firemen posed on fire engine, New York City
Shared on Jan 11, 2012 by
Taken in .
Fireman with firefighting equipment in front of firehouse, in the Washington,... more
Shared on Jan 10, 2012 by
This horse-drawn fire truck photo was taken in Washington D.C. sometime... more
Shared on Jan 9, 2012 by
Taken in .
A photo of a firefighter from the Vigilant Fire Company, Baltimore. He is... more
Shared on Jan 9, 2012 by
Taken in .
Washington, D.C. Firemen taking a nap in engine house number four
Shared on Jan 9, 2012 by
Taken in .
Firehouse station number four. Washington, D.C. Fireman examining a couch... more
Shared on Jan 9, 2012 by
A photo of Firehouse Station No. 4. Washington, D.C. Captain J.B. Keye
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Shared on Jan 9, 2012 by
A photo of my Great Grandfather Henry Priebe. Minneapolis Fire Department... more
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Shared on Jun 8 by
Taken in Lynn, Essex County, MA in .
A photo of Charles Henry Chaffee. A son of Capt. Ezra Chaffee, Charles lived... more
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Shared on Mar 13 by
Taken at Fire department, Ghent, Raleigh County, WV in .
A photo of Edward Pack - This was taken in the late 60s to mid 70s.
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Shared on Feb 9, 2017 by
Taken in Ghent, Raleigh County, WV in .
A photo of Edward W Pack in the 1970s at Ghent vol fire dept in front of... more
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Shared on Feb 9, 2017 by
Taken in San Francisco, San Francisco County, CA.
A photo of Tom Sawyer, San Francisco firefighter, in the 1860's. In 1863,... more
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Shared on Nov 3, 2016 by
A photo of Alfred Long (on left) and Callie Porter. Fire department... more
Shared on Jul 12, 2016 by
Taken in Oak Ridge, Anderson County, TN in .
This is a photo of the fire dept. that was at Oak Ridge, TN during WWII when... more
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Shared on Dec 12, 2015 by
A photo of William J. Joyce, Battalion Firefighter. I study my family, and... more
Shared on Jun 14, 2015 by
Taken at Fourth of July Parade, Plattsburgh, Clinton County, NY in .
A photo of Napoleon E. Laravie (in the drivers seat) Chief Engineer of the... more
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Shared on May 27, 2015 by
Taken in Kirkland, King County, WA.
A photo of Edward E. Williams, Volunteer Fire Department of Kirkland,... more
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Shared on Apr 12, 2015 by
Photo from pamphlet showing Suffolk, VA fire department. Frank Oxley was the... more
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Shared on Oct 5, 2013 by
Taken in New York City, NY .
Graduating Class, Fire Department School of Instruction, April 1939,... more
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Shared on Aug 28, 2013 by
Taken in Bala-Cynwyd, Montgomery County, PA United States of America .
Howard Alexander, Fourth Of July Parade, in the 1960's, Union Fire... more
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Shared on Sep 11, 2012 by
Taken at Steger Piano Factory & Steger Fire Station, Steger, Cook County, IL United States of America .
Robert Reinhold Klawitter (photo taken in 1908 in Illinois) was a woodworker... more
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Shared on Sep 3, 2012 by
Taken at Toledo Firefighters Museum, Toledo, Lucas County, OH USA.
Firemen Freddie Nofziger in Toledo Ohio at the Toledo Firefighters Museum.... more
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Shared on Jul 7, 2012 by
Taken in Oshkosh, USA County, WI USA.
My grandpa Dean Joseph Fenrich of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, a firefighter. Date not... more
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Shared on Jun 11, 2012 by
Taken at Franklin Fire Company, Chester, Delaware County, PA USA .
William Smeck, Sr - Volunteer Fireman Franklin Fire Company, Chester, PA:... more
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Shared on Apr 9, 2012 by
Taken at Goodwill #1 Citizens Fire Company, West Fairview, Cumberland County, PA USA in .
Charles Yarnall and Firemen of Goodwill #1 Citizens Fire Company, West... more
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Shared on Jan 15, 2012 by