The history of organized firefighting dates back at least to Ancient Egypt, where hand operated pumps may have been employed to extinguish fires. The first Roman brigade was a group of slaves who were hired by an aedile Mareus Egnatius Rufus. Rome suffered a number of serious fires, most notably was the fire in July 19, AD 64 and eventually it destroyed two thirds of Rome.
Over the course of history it became apparent that an organized way was needed to put these fires out. However the first organized municipal fire brigade in the world was established in Edinburgh, Scotland.
On April 1, 1853, the Cincinnati, Ohio Fire Department became the first full-time paid professional fire department in the United States and the first in the world to use steam fire engines. The first horse drawn steam engine for fighting fires was invented in 1829, but not accepted in structual firefighting until 1860. Jamestown, Virginia was virtually destroyed in a fire in January, 1608.
George Washington was a volunteer firefighter in Alexandria, Virginia. In 1774, as a member of the Friendship Veterans Fire Co. he bought a new fire engine and gave it to the town, which was its very first. However the United States did not have government run fire departments until around the time of the Civil War.
The term "fire plug" dates from the time when water mains were made from hallowed out logs. The fire company would dig up the cobbles down to the main, then bore a hole into the main so the hole would fill up with water , which they could using their pumper. When they were finished they would seal the main with--you guessed it--a "fire plug". They would mark where this plug was so they could use it again.
Cast iron came to replace the wooden water mains in 1802 and when cast iron started becoming popular, fittings were placed on the mains at intervals, much like today's fire hydrants. As late as 1868, the city of Buffalo, New York was still installing wooden case hydrants, but by this time the day of the wooden case hydrant were over.
I know this is very long but if I put every detail in this post I would have to use too much space. I just wanted you to get an idea of the starting og the fire department. They have come a long way from passing the buckets of water down the line, most of the time this was to late . Well, thanks for taking the time to read it. I only wish I could of put in more details.