The first organized fire protection unit was established when Augustus became ruler of Rome in 24 BC. Augustus had the foresight to create a watch guard service to look for fires and prevent them from starting. The fear of a fire s capacity to cause death and destruction was just as prevalent then as it is today.

In 872 A.D. one of the earliest recorded fire protection ordinances was introduced in Oxford, England, when a curfew was adopted requesting that hearth fire be extinguished at a certain hour. The earliest known, organized fire brigades were called fire insurance brigades. They were established in England in 1666 as a result of the great London Fire. Prior to that in 1643, during the British Civil War, women were organized to patrol the town of Nottingham during the night and to put out fires and prevent new fire from starting. It was not until Edinburg s 1824 Fire Brigade establishment that public fire services began to develop modern standards of operation when a surveyor named James Braidwood was appointed Chief of the Brigade. He selected 80 Part time aides between the ages of 17 and 25 and required regular drill and night training.

Until 1853 all fire departments had volunteer’s workers. Most cities had no training program, lacked discipline, and had no positive direction. Firefighting was not a paying job and the work was hazardous. On April 1853 in Cincinnati, Ohio, the first paid fire department was established. The department s only equipment to combat fire was manpower and horse drawn steam pumpers. Use of steamers, motorised vehicles and even air crafts for firefighting operations evolved gradually to make firefighting a highly specialized, skilled job today.

The first fire drill school at which basic fire training and company drill were performed was established in Boston, Massachusetts in 1889. New York City established the first fire college for advanced fire officer training in 1914.