A Short History of the Fire Brigade in Nottingham 

fire crew.jpg (40397 bytes)

The first serious attempt to grapple with the problem of fire-fighting followed the Great Fire of London in 1666, although some attempt had been made earlier than this, and as far back as 21 B.C., it is known that “Large Bands” of people were organized to fight fires.

There is ample evidence to indicate that the “siphos” or squirt was probably the earliest type of appliance used for pumping water on to a fire, and its principles are, of course, in use today.

fire horses 2.jpg (46687 bytes)             fire horses.jpg (63250 bytes)

Up to the time of the Great Fire of 1666, medieval walled cities were the prey of fire, and it was undoubtedly difficult to fight a fire which gained a hold in towns of narrow streets, where timber houses jostled and overlapped each other, and most of London was burned down in both the 12th and 13th centuries.

Late in the 17th century “Fire Offices” (Insurance Companies) were formed, and ran their own Brigades, and about 1833, a number of these offices amalgamated to form larger brigades instead of many small ones.  The insignia of these offices was a Fire Mark, some of which may still be seen on certain old buildings in the City.

bedford dennis.jpg (31258 bytes)           fire crew-hose.jpg (57834 bytes)

The earlier types of fire engines were manual pumps operated by hand or foot, and in the early part of the 19th century steam fire engines were introduced, and contained in use until 1910, when motorized units began to appear.  

The first fire alarm “system” in Nottingham was a “watch of 50 women” who paraded the town all night, and in the latter part of the 17th century attempts were made at fire prevention, when bakers could keep no more than a specified amount of gorse in their yard or near the building.

The first serious attempt to form a Fire Service in the City was in 1724, although  engines were provided in the City in 1692 and 1706, being kept first at St. Mary’s Church and later at “Monday Cross”.

old fire gates.jpg (40986 bytes)

The first place built specially as a Fire Station was in St. John Street in 1839; the next in 1888, in the rear of the existing Guildhall, and the most recent, the present station at Shakespeare Street opened in 1940 but due to the war never had an opening ceremony.

002_nr-246471_small1.jpg (12885 bytes)

The Fire Brigade today operates within the framework of the City and County Council controlled by the Combined Fire Authority to whom the Chief Fire Officer is responsible.

The most modern appliances and equipment are maintained in the Brigade.

Firefighting Today 

The Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service has 25 Fire Stations and about 1,000 staff, both operational and non-uniformed.  The Brigade attend over 16,000 incidents every year and provide a service for the whole of the community of Nottinghamshire.

The Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service have 46 Pumping Appliances, 1 Hydraulic Platform, 2 Incident Support Units, 4 Rescue Tenders, 3 Four Wheel Drive Vehicles, a Control Unit, 1 Water Carrier and 2 Turntable Ladders.

The Command and Control Centre of the Brigade is located at Brigade Headquarters in Arnold.  It uses the latest computer technology to ensure that all emergencies are dealt with quickly and efficiently.