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The History of Fire Pumps

Firefighting pumps have come a long way since their humble beginnings. From the hand-operated pumps of the early days to the powerful, engine-driven pumps of today, these machines have played a vital role in saving lives and property from fires.



Early History of Fire Pumps

The first fire pumps were developed in the 16th century. These early pumps were hand-operated and consisted of a piston that was moved up and down in a cylinder. The piston created suction, which drew water from a nearby source, such as a well or river. The water was then forced out of the pump through a hose and directed at the fire.



Steam-Powered Fire Pumps

In the 18th century, steam-powered fire pumps were developed. These pumps were much more powerful than hand-operated pumps and could deliver a much greater volume of water to the fire. Steam-powered fire pumps were also more mobile than hand-operated pumps, which made them ideal for fighting fires in large cities.


1938 FIRE PUMP

This 1938 fire pump, displayed at the Tampa Bay Automobile Museum is equipped with a TATRA motor that boasts four horizontally opposed cylinders, and packs a punch with its 1678 cc capacity and air-cooled system generating 24 horsepower. This pump was once an essential tool for the Illnau Fire Department, nestled near Zurich, and is still capable of pumping water today.


Gasoline-Powered Fire Pumps

In the early 20th century, gasoline-powered fire pumps were developed. These pumps were even more powerful than steam-powered pumps and could deliver an even greater volume of water to the fire. Gasoline-powered fire pumps were also more reliable and easier to operate than steam-powered pumps.


Modern Fire Pumps

Today, fire pumps are typically powered by diesel engines. These pumps are the most powerful and reliable fire pumps available. They can deliver a very large volume of water to the fire and can operate for long periods of time.


Firefighting pumps have come a long way since their humble beginnings. Today, these machines are essential tools for firefighters and play a vital role in saving lives and property from fires. A big thank you to firefighters and the engineers who have built the tools to to help them!


Reference:

Jon's Mid-America Fire Apparatus https://jonsmidamerica.com/fire-fighting-pump/

The Age of Steam Fire Engines 


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