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Help- History of the blue uniform...

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  • Help- History of the blue uniform...

    Hi there...My friend recently asked me- "What is
    the history of the blue Firefighter's uniform?"

    I gave him the answers that I thought were correct
    but I thought I would turn to the pros. So please
    us know.

    Thanks, Bou

  • #2
    The Fireman's blue uniform has something to do with the Civil War. I asked one of our historians. He's trying to get more info.
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
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    • #3
      This isn't so much a historical fact as just a theory of mine....I believe that the blue uniform did in fact evolve from the uniforms worn by Union troops during the Civil War. Makes sense anyway. Think about it...Prior to the Civil War, there were very few paid fire departments in America, even in major cities like New York. The advent of the paid, metropolitan fire department came about just after the war. It stands to reason that many of first paid firemen were returning war veterans, who took with them some of their military customs and ways. For example...the blue uniform, with lots of brass buttons...check out some historical pictures of Union soldiers and the uniform has some similarities.

      Another example...Pre-Civil War volunteer officers usually went by such titles as "president", "foreman", or "supervisor". Not until after the Civil War did we start seeing "Captains", "Lieutenants", and such as Fire Department positions. Early paid departments were also organized into "battalions" and "companies"...Still more military terminology applied to the fire service.

      Also, look at the insignia we use compared to military rank insigia....The number of bugles denotes the rank, similar to the number of bars or stars that denote military rank. I'm sure I could go on and on with the comparisons, but you get the idea. Anyone out there have a more detailed explanation?
      Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
      Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
      Paincourtville, LA

      "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
      — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"


      • #4
        Likely right on...

        I'd say there's a good chance that is correct.

        Read this for a little more history.
        Fire service survival tips:
        1) Cook at 350...
        2) Pump at 150...
        3) When in doubt, isolate and deny entry...
        4) When in trouble, claim lack of adult supervision.


        • #5
          Maybe Not...

          This is a photo of a firefighter from Independent No. 3 in Cincinnati, from the 1840's, twenty years before the Civil War. More likely, the volunteer fire departments wanted to stand out, they were as proud then as we are now, so they copied Military uniforms to give themselves a look of authority.
          I'm not contradicting the military aspect, just the timing. Cincinnati also had Captains and Lieutenants when it was re-organized as the first fully paid municiple fire department in 1853.

          On a modern note, Cincinnati now wears all dark blue fatigues because they don't show the dirt the way the light blue shirts do.
          Attached Files
          Last edited by firemangeorge; 11-04-2003, 10:48 AM.
          See You At The Big One


          • #6
            THANK YOU!!!

            You guys/gals always come through! THANKS AGAIN!!!


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