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1. Who was Saint Florian?

He was a member of the Roman Army born in 250 AD and was sentenced to death by fire by Emporer Diocletian when he refused to follow orders and persecute all Christians in the area. Standing on the pile erected to be set on fire killing him, Florian challenged the Roman soldiers to start the fire and said, " If you do, I will climb to heaven on the flames." Fearful of Florian, the soldiers had him drowned instead.

Florian was made a Saint by Pope Lucius III, and later a person was reported to have been saved from fire by praying to St. Florian. Since then St. Florian has generally been regarded as the patron Saint of the fire service.


2. Why are Dalmatians considered firehouse dogs?

Dogs were helpful to direct and guard horses during the era of the horse drawn fire engine. Dalmatians were favored probably because of their size, friendly nature, ability to train, and ability to care for themselves. Likewise urban and nearby departments gave away puppies as new litters were born thus creating an ongoing fire service tradition.


3. The history of National Fire Prevention Week?

In 1911 the Fire Marshals Association of North America decided the 40th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire should be observed in a manner to inform the public about fire hazards, fire prevention and fire safety. Fire Prevention Day was first observed on October 11, 1911.

President Woodrow Wilson issued the first National Fire Prevention Day proclamation in 1920 .  Five years later President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the first Fire Prevention Week , October 4-10, 1925.


3. Why is the Maltese Cross the symbol of the fire service?

Also known as the Cross Pattee-Nowry. The symbol is essentially borrowed from the Kights of St. John of Jerusalem, a charitable organization that helped the sick and poor by building hospitals and clinics. Later, they assisted the Knights of the Crusades in an effort to assist the Island of Malta - from which the famous Maltese Cross derives its name.


4. What are the word's to the Fireman's Prayer?

When I am called to duty, God, whenever flames may rage
Give me strength to save some life, whatever be its age.
Help me embrace a little child before it is too late
Or save an older person from the horror of that fate.
Enable me to be alert and hear the weakest shout,
And quickly and efficiently to put the fire out.
I want to fill my calling and to give the best in me,
To guard my every neighbor and protect his property.
And if, according to my fate, I am to lose my life,
Please bless with your protecting hand my children and my wife.


6. What were the worst historical fires (since 1835)?

Date Location Deaths
May 1845 Canton China 1,670
October 8, 1871 Peshtigo, WI - forest fire 1,182
December 8, 1881 Ring Theater, Vienna 850
December 30, 1903 Iroquois Theater, Chicago 602
December 23, 1995 Schoolhouse, India 500+
November 2, 1994 Burning fuel flood, Egypt 500
November 28, 1942 Coconut Grove, Boston 491
October 14, 1913 Wales, Colliery 439
August 19, 1978 Abadan, Iran - movie theater 425+
September 1, 1894 Minnesota - forest fire 413


7. What were the worst fires in United States history (since 1835)?

Date Location Deaths
October 8, 1871 Peshtigo, WI - forest fire 1,182
December 30, 1903 Iriquois Theater, Chicago 602
November 28, 1942 Cocoanut Grove, Boston 491
September 1, 1894 Minnesota - forest fire 413
October 12, 1918 Cloquet, MN - forest fire 400
June 30, 1900 Hoboken, NJ - docks 326
April 21, 1930 Columbus, OH - penitentiary 320
December 5, 1876 Brooklyn, NY - theater 295
October 8, 1871 Great Chicago Fire - IL 250
April 23, 1940 Natches, MS - dance hall 198
March 4, 1908 Collingwood, OH - school 176
January 13, 1908 Rhoads Theater, Boyertown, PA 170
July 6, 1944 Ringling Circus, Hartford, CT 168
May 28, 1977 Southgate, KY - nightclub 164
March 25, 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, NY, NY 146
December 7, 1946 Winecoff Hotel, Atlanta, GA 119


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