Interesting Fire Stuff
-Back in the day when horses pulled the fire equipment, dalmations helped keep the horses calm. The dog was not a pet for the fire house. The dog would chase away small animals in the horses path and was a good companion for the horses. (I use to think the dalmation was associated with the fire service because of its black spots).
-Also, back in the day the leader of the fire company had a trumpet to shout orders over the noise on the fire scene. Now, the trumpet is a symbol of authority (on uniforms for example).
-If you fight fire in the South and have never been up North, the fire departments mark the fire hydrants with a tall red or orange pole so they can find the hydrants in the winter.
If you know anything else that's interesting, feel free to post.
[ 11-23-2001: Message edited by: TheFireDude1 ]
The term "Fire Plug" refers back to times where the water mains were wooden hollowed logs. Every so often there was a hole in the log to tap for fires. These holes were plugged with a wooden wedge. That is where the term fire plug originates. http://www.stopstart.fsnet.co.uk/smilie/smash.gif
The Chicago fire had a few problems.The cow was to blame yes,but what was Mrs O'Leary like?Was she an old woman?A young mother?or just a middle aged lady?There were three different reports in the Chicago papers after the fire.Plus the lead dispatcher played the guitar and was singing to his girlfriend when the guy on fire watch called down to report the fire.He ignored the first cal.Then when he sent the alarm he sent the first due companies the wrong way.When told of his error he said he would cause only more confusion by dispatching more.Well we all know how the story ends.Plus Baltimore had the same kind of disaster and found out that none of the mutual aid rigs could connect to their hydrants.Fine time to figure that one out. :D
Seems I recall reading somewhere that Dalmations were bred as a companion animal to horses in Europe, and particularly, England. As you stated, FireDude, they have a calming effect on the horses and are useful for chasing small animals (and pedestrians) out of the path of the horses. They also are very protective of their horses and in earlier days would sleep in the horse's stalls to guard against horse thieves. They were often seen in England accompanying carriages and coaches; it was natural for the idea to catch on with the advent of the horse-drawn fire engine. Ever notice the Budweiser Clydesdale team has a Dalmation, too? Just a little useless trivia I read somewhere......
Sure enough - there are a number of breeds of dogs that fall into a family as "coach" dogs.
Horses tend to be nervous beasts. That's the reason for "blinkers" on their harness, so they don't "spook" at things they catch out of the corner of their eye. They're also very "social" animals, being "herd" beasts.
The dogs were bred for speed and stamina, to be able to pace along beside a coach, or just ahead, for reasonably long distances. They were also bred to be fiercely loyal to their "family" of horses (and men), both to protect the horses (from more than just theives!) and to keep them company when they were in the stable.
Dalmations (and all members of the "coach dog" family) are very loyal, reasonably protective of "their" people but not vicious, and VERY active. They need lots of attention and plenty of room to run.