Images of America Oakland Fire Department
For over 150 years, brave firefighters have battled to preserve the lives and property of the citizens of Oakland. Beginning in 1853, volunteer engine and hook and ladder companies organized and the Oakland Fire Department formed in 1869. Until 1922, teams of magnificent horses pulled steamers belching black smoke and embers, with firemen holding on for dear life. These gallant fire horses were as much firefighters as the rugged men of Oakland who extinguished blazes with leather hoses and brass nozzles. After waging an internal battle of racial integration a 35-year struggle that began in 1920’s the Oakland Fire Department became one of the first in the nation to hire women firefighters beginning in 1980.
Author Bio: Geoffrey Hunter, a captain in the Oakland Fire Department, has searched for the best and most dramatic images to illuminate this inspiring and authoritative history of the Oakland Fire Department, from the days of horse-drawn carts on dusty downtown streets, to the modern era of gleaming high-rise buildings and thermal imaging cameras.