The original concept of the Fire Patrol dates back to the New York Board of Fire Underwriters of the early 1800’s. The New York Board of Fire Underwriters was an organization that insured personal and business property. This group issued a two percent fire tax on commercial structures in the City, which was used to run the Fire Patrols. Their job was to patrol the streets of New York City in search of fires. If a fire was discovered, they sounded off ratchets, a high screech, to warn people in the building or homes to evacuate to safety. Another Fire Patrolman would then run and get the Patrol wagon which contained fire salvage equipment. Once on scene the Fire Patrol assisted in saving valuables in the buildings. As a result, the Patrol received its name from the Fire Insurance Industry. It has since been a tradition that Fire Patrolmen wear red fire helmets to distinguish themselves at the fire scene.
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