St. Florian, Heaven’s patron of firefighters,
who once was dedicated to the services
of your fellowmen as an official in the
Army of Rome, look with kindly and
professional eye upon your earthly force,
desirous of the preserving of our fellowmen
from the dangers to life and property.
Give us cool heads, stout hearts, strong muscles
an instinct for prudent investigation and
Make us the terror of arsonists, the friends of
law-abiding citizens, kind to the frightened,
polite to the bores, strict with lawbreakers,
and obstinate to temptations.
In troubles give us strength to be efficient,
in times of great danger, give us the ability
to be calm and enable us to impart assurance
to those who verge on panic.
You know, beloved St. Florian, from the
sacrifice of your own life for the sake of
your faith, that the fireman’s lot on earth
is not always a pleasant one, but your
sense of duty that so pleased God, your
courageous strength that so over-whelmed
the devil and your saintly self-control,
give us inspiration.
Make us as fearless in practicing the laws
of God as we are brave in protecting the
lives and property of our fellowmen, and
when we answer our final alarm, enroll
us in your Heavenly force, where we will be
as proud to protect the throne of God as
we have been to protect the city.
Saint Florian, the patron saint of firefighters, was a high-ranking officer of the Roman Army, and administrator in 3rd century Austria. Saint Florian had converted to Christianity but kept his new faith a secret to avoid persecution.
St. Florian is said to have saved a town from burning by throwing a single bucket or pitcher of water on the blaze.
When ordered to execute Christians, he professed his faith. He was therefore sentenced to death by fire. He is said to have challenged the Roman soldiers by telling them, “If you do, I will climb to heaven on the flames.” The soldiers instead tortured him then had a stone tied around his neck and he was thrown into a river where he drowned.
St. Florian is invoked as a powerful protector from dangers from fire, floods and drowning. St. Florian is the patron saint of firefighters, chimney sweeps, coopers, barrel-makers, brewers, soap boilers and Austria. He is invoked against battles, fires, drowning, floods and for fire protection and harvests.
Ancient Rome is known to have had a fire department consisting by the 1st century of approximately 7,000 paid firefighters. These fire brigades not only responded to and fought fires, but also patrolled the streets with the authority to impose corporal punishment upon those who violated fire-prevention codes. The inventor Ctesibius of Alexandria devised the first known fire pump c.200 B.C. but the idea was lost until the fire pump was reinvented about A.D. 1500.
The only equipments available to fight the London fire in 1666 were two-quart hand syringes and a similar, slightly larger syringe; it burned for four days. Elsewhere in Europe and in the American colonies fire fighting equipment were equally rudimentary. The London fire stimulated the development of a two-person operated piston pump on wheels.
In 1648, Governor Peter Stuyvesant of New Amsterdam (New York City) was the first in the New World to appoint fire inspectors with the authority to impose fines for fire code violations. Boston imported (1679) the first fire engine to reach America. For a long time the ten-person pump devised by the English inventor Richard Newsham in 1725 was the most widely used. The inventor Thomas Lote of New York built (1743) the first fire engine made in America. About 1672 leather hose and couplings for joining lengths together were produced; though leather hose had to be sewn like a fine boot, fabric and rubber-treated hose did not come into general use until 1870. A steam fire engine was built in London in 1829, but the volunteer fire companies of the day were very slow to accept it. When a group of insurance companies in New York had a self-propelled engine built in 1841, the firefighters so hindered its use that the insurance companies gave up the project. Finally, in Cincinnati, Ohio, the public forced a steam engine on the firefighters.
The aerial ladder wagon appeared in 1870; the hose elevator, about 1871. Gasoline engines were at firest used either as pumping engines or as tractors to pull apparatus. In 1910 the two functions were combined, one engine both propelling the truck and driving the pump. Modern equipment is usually diesel powered, and multiple variations of the basic fire engine enable firefighters to respond to many types of emergency situations.
See P. R. Lyons, Fire in America (1976); C. V. Walsh and L. Marks, Firefighting Strategy and Leadership (2d ed. 1976); J. Robertson, Introduction to Fire Prevention (1989).
Fire Safety Awareness Campaign for Sampaloc District
March 8, 2009
By: Cavalier 9
On a sunny Sunday afternoon at around , several fire volunteer brigades massed up at the intersection of Blumentritt and España Streets in preparation for an information drive on fire safety and awareness amongst residents of the Sampaloc District in Metro Manila.
Comprising the awareness drive is a group made up of at least 15 volunteer brigades who have brought to the event their respective fire fighting apparatus; in all, a total of 17 fire trucks took part in the motorcade. In a span of two hours, a spectacle of bright flashing lights and the thunderous sound of their sirens wailed throughout the whole district of Sampaloc. Candies and other goodies were distributed to the crowd. The echoing sound of the sirens was able to get the attention of everyone. Those inside their homes even went out to have a look at what was going on.
The parade ended at around . Capping the activity was a buffet of select oriental dishes at a restaurant in Timog area, Quezon City. Everyone who joined the parade was able to fill their hearts out with food that really satisfied the palate.
The activity was done in relation to the fire prevention month and was made possible thru the initiative of the Congressional Representative of District 4 of Manila.
A fireman is at the station house working outside on the fire truck when he notices a little girl next door. The little girl is in a little red wagon with little ladders hung off the side.
She is wearing a fireman’s hat and has the wagon tied to a dog. The fireman says “Hey little girl. What are you doing?” The little girl says “I’m pretending to be a fireman and this is my fire truck!”
The fireman walks over to take a closer look. “Little girl that sure is a nice fire truck!” the fireman says. “Thanks mister”, says the little girl. The fireman looks a little closer and notices the little girl has tied the dog to the wagon by it’s testicles.
“Little girl”, says the fireman, “I don’t want to tell you how to run your fire truck, but if you were to tie that rope around the dog’s neck I think you could go faster.”
The little girl says, “You’re probably right mister, but then I wouldn’t have a siren!”