Mother Lode Fire Information - Useful Information
California Firesafe Council
The California Fire Safe Council's mission is to preserve and enhance California's manmade and natural resources by providing leadership and support that mobilizes all Californians to protect their homes, communities and environment from wildfires.
Since its formation in April 1993, the Council has united its diverse membership to speak with one voice about fire safety. The Council has distributed fire prevention education materials to industry leaders and their constituents, evaluated legislation pertaining to fire safety and empowered grassroots organizations to spearhead fire safety programs.
The Fire Safe Council itself is drawn from numerous sectors who all share an interest in protecting California from wildfires. They include insurance companies, governmental offices, realtors, utilities and many others.
For more information visit California Fire Safe Council
There are now many resources available to assist property owners, including a number of Web sites with excellent information on fire-resistant building materials, landscaping techniques, evacuation procedures, etc. We know you will find these links very useful.
The History of Fire Fighting
The Romans In recorded historical times, First Century Romans were the first known civilization to have a paid fire department. It consisted of about 7,000 fire fighters, who not only doused fires, but were also empowered with authority to police the streets in order to punish those who violated their fire prevention codes. An inventor by the name of Ctesibius devised the first known fire pump around 200 B.C. but the idea was lost, ironically, in the burning of Alexandria, Ctesibius' home city. It wasn't until A.D. 1500 that the fire pump was again re-invented. For many years throughout Europe and the American colonies fire-fighting equipment was extremely elementary, and not very effective. The Great London fire of 1666, which burned for 4 days and destroyed the city, encouraged the advancement of fire fighting by the invention of a two-person operated piston pump that was moved about fairly easily on wheels.
New World Fire Inspectors In 1648 Peter Stuyvesant, Governor of New Amsterdam (Now known as New York City) pioneered fire prevention for the New World by appointing fire inspectors with the power to impose fines for fire code violations, an idea he unknowingly copied from the Romans. In 1653 Boston had its first "great fire," after which it adopted a fire code. A subsequent great fire in 1679 destroyed the dockyard, warehouses, and 150 houses prompting them to import one of the early fire engines, a ten-person pump that was created by English inventor Richard Newsham. It wasn't until 1743 that Thomas Lote constructed the first fire engine to be manufactured in the America's.
Steam In 1829 a steam-powered fire engine was invented, but fire fighters of the day were reluctant to accept it. In 1841, a self-propelled fire engine was invented, financed by a group of insurance companies. It was scoffed at by the firefighters of the time, who refused to use it. Finally, the insurance companies were forced to concede that the project was a failure. Eventually there was such an outcry by the public in Cincinnati, Ohio, that the fire fighters there were forced to adopt its use.
Ladder Wagons The first ladder wagon's appeared in 1870 and the hose elevator was put in use around 1871. Gasoline engines were at first used either as pumping engines or as tractors to pull other apparatus. Eventually the two functions were combined, with one engine both propelling the truck and driving the pump. In modern times, equipment is most often diesel powered and has become extremely diverse and versatile, with many variations on the basic fire engine design. This enables firefighters to respond to many types of emergency situations with appropriate equipment at hand.