fire service

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The leather or canvas buckets, hooks, and grappling irons that sometimes survive in parish churches give a clear idea of the primitive nature of firefighting before Victorian times. The earliest municipal fire brigades included those at Edinburgh (1824) and Manchester (1828). In London the fire insurance companies amalgamated their fire brigades in 1833, but it was not until 1866 that the municipal London Fire Brigade was established. It quickly became the best equipped and best trained in the world. Steam‐driven engines began to replace the old handpumps in the 1850s, and motorized rather than horse‐drawn engines appeared in the first years of the 20th century. An Act of 1938 established Fire Authorities throughout Britain and forced municipal authorities to provide a free firefighting service.

Subjects: History.

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