Racing to the Fire?
Hello readers and welcome back to the Hometown Heritage Blog!
Red fire trucks are a common sight nowadays. There is at least one in every town, or at least close enough to be at an emergency in minutes. They race to fire and accidents, speeding along to get to those in need as quickly as possible. However, did you know it was not always as easy for firefighters to get to emergency quickly?
Look at the picture included with this post. From the looks of it, it is just a bunch of men pulling a cart. However, this is not just any cart and these men are not just any men! You probably cannot tell from the picture alone, but this picture was taken at the Fireman’s Convention of 1912. All of the men that you can see with the cart are the firefighters at the time. “But why are they pulling that cart?” you might ask. Well, let me tell you! This cart was part of standard fire equipment of the time, and was a hand-drawn hose cart. Whenever there was a fire, the firefighters would drag this cart through the dirt streets of Perry to fight the fire. Imagine how long it would take for them to get anywhere with that cart! I do not know how heavy a firefighting hose is, but I can imagine that pulling them around on a cart would not be easy. Getting to a fire in time to save a building would be quite difficult, and getting to another town would be even worse! At the time of this picture, though, there were not any fires. Instead, as part of the Fireman’s Convention, teams were put together to race the carts as part of a tournament. It does not say in our records, but I hope that the Perry team were the winners!
Do any of you readers remember a time when fire trucks were not a common sight, or when fighting fires was harder than it is today? Let us know in the comments, and join us next week for another Hometown Heritage Blog!