THE DETROIT FIRE DEPARTMENT’S 130 YEARS OF FLAMES AND HEROICS
By Patricia Zacharias | The Detroit News
DETROIT FIRE DEPARTMENT|
The mission of the Detroit Fire Department is to provide a safe environment for our customers through public education, enforcement of fire codes, and deployment of efficient emergency response resources.
10 DIVISIONS| Administration
Fire fighting Fire Marshal Community Relations Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Apparatus Communications Medical Research and Development Training Academy
FOUNDRY | Bitstream Inc. DESIGNER | Max Miedinger DESIGN DATE | 1982
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STRE AND LO SINC
ETCHIN’ OVIN’ IT CE 1860
JUNE 11, 1805
A BLAZE TOUCHED OFF IN A STABLE BY A SPARK FROM THE PIPE OF A BAKER’S HELPER, ROARED THROUGH THE COMMUNITY OF WOODEN BUILDINGS, LEVELING THE CENTURY-OLD CITY OF DETROIT.
The city fathers hastily hired Detroitâ€™s first paid fire fighters, an engineer, five hosemen, two drivers and a foreman to operate the first steam fire engine. The engine cost the city $3,l50 and was delivered from the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company of Manchester, N.H. It was named â€œLafayette No. 1â€? and was housed on the northeast corner
of Larned and Wayne streets.
The cityâ€™s first fireboat, the Detroiter, went into service on the Detroit River in 1892.
THE DETROIT DEPARTMENT ACQUIRED THE SIXTH MOTOR FIRE ENGINE IN THE WORLD, A PACKARD. A fury of objections by firefighters and Detroiters over their beloved horseâ€™s replacement continued for several years. The horse, it was argued, was much more reliable. The motorized vehicles were hard-starting and breakdowns too frequent.
ORIGINATED| Jefferson and Hart, January 1909 DISBANDED| May 1992 REORGANIZED| February 1994 FRONT|
COST OF SITE|
COST OF BUILDING| ARCHITECT|
Chittenden and Ketting, F.J. Mcinnis
CONTRACTOR| Bartholomaine and Sons CO. REMODELED| 1928 at a cost of $3,087.18
Buildings and Grounds Bureau DFD
By 1922, the age of mechanization had arrived. The future of the fire horse was doomed. The tough decision was made to retire the fire department’s horses. On April 10, 1922, more than 50,000 people turned out to witness the historic lastrun. The city’s last five fire horses, Pete, Jim, Tom, Babe and Rusty, made their final dash down Woodward Avenue as a makebelieve alarm sounded at the National Bank Building. Spectators lining the streets cheered as the fire department’s band played ‘Auld Lang Syne’. Many in the crowd, according to The News, cried as the horses passed. These last five hooved fire fighters were retired to an “Equine Elysium” in River Rouge Park.
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1938 P21 Over the years, barriers were broken. In l938, Marcena W. Taylor and Marvin White became the first black members of the department. In l952, Taylor became the first black officer. The Fire Commission appointed Taylor Sergeant at Ladder Company No. 4.
The all male uniform force was altered when
Sandy Kupper was awarded Badge No. l437 in l978 and instantly became, as she described it, “one of the boys.” Sandy was among the first three women in the department’s history to graduate from the Fire Academy, and the first of those three to complete the four-month probationary tour.
Design | Adam Smith Photographs | Adam Smith Typeset in Swiss 721 and Berling lt Trim size | 8" x 10" Printed on 65lb linen cover stock Produced in an edition of 2 copies Copyright 2009 Adam Smith and The University of Michigan Taubman College Produced for Arch 516 | Representation Christian Unverzagt section The Detroit Fire Departmentâ€™s 130 years of flames and heroics By Patricia Zacharias | The Detroit News September 24, 1997 City of Detroit Taubman College 2000 Bonisteel Boulevard Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109 USA