Release: September 1999
Edition Quantity: 3,000
On December 7, 1736, Benjamin Franklin established the Union Fire Company. With its formation, the Union Fire Company brought organized firefighting to Philadelphia. The concept proved to be so popular that over the course of the next one hundred and thirty-four years, over ninety volunteer fires companies were formed and operated within the city limits. Unfortunately, not all of the volunteers had noble intentions and many used their membership in a fire company as guise for their hooliganism. As a result of this, many citizens began to call for the formation of a paid fire department.
The paid fire department went into operation on March 15, 1871. It consisted of three hundred thirty-four officers and members, manning twenty-two engine companies and five truck companies that were divided into five battalions and headed by a Chief Engineer. As the city grew so did the fire department and by 1900 there were forty-eight engine companies and nine truck companies.
The first piece of motorized apparatus was purchased and placed into service during 1912. The department wasn't completely motorized until 1927. As the years progressed additional companies were added to the department. The department peaked during the 1950's with seventy-two engine companies and thirty truck companies. Also during the 1950's the department began to provide emergency medical services to the citizens of Philadelphia.
Today, the Philadelphia Fire Department consists of fifty-nine engine companies, thirty ladder companies, one rescue company, thirty-seven medic units and a host of support units divided into eleven battalions and two divisions and headed by the Fire Commissioner. These companies protect approximately 1.5 million people who live in 139 square miles.
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All Code 3 Fire
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Mint in Dome