Today in DFD history – April 10, 1922
The last run of the Detroit Fire Horses took place down Woodward Avenue.
More than 50,000 people gathered to witness the historic last run or Peter, Jim, Tom, Babe and Rusty, the horses of Engine 37's steamer and hose wagons. They dashed down Woodward on a symbolic final emergency as a fake alarm sounded at the National Bank Building.
Nostalgic spectators lined Woodward from Grand Circus Park to Cadillac Square, cheering while the fire department's band played Auld Lang Syne. According to The Detroit News, many in the crowd cried as the horses passed.
Preparing for the last running of the Detroit Fire Horses.
The department established a Horse Bureau in 1886. It was written: "To be an ideal Fire Department horse the animal must possess exceptional intellegence, an even yet strong temperament, tractability, perfection of body, limb and wind, and the required weight." During that time, the description of what was needed to be a fireman was much the same, but with one omission
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Today in Detroit Fire Department history – March 16, 1866
Detroit Firemen's Fund was organized to assist the widows and orphans of firefighters and to assist firefighters that have become disabled. It incorporated as a charitable organization on April 13th 1867. The Firemen's Fund is still actively supporting Detroit Firefighters and their families.
The Fund maintains burial plots at Elmwood and Mt. Elliott cemeteries to honor our fallen comrades. It has also established and maintains the Fallen Firefighters Memorial Rig, which is used to carry firefighters to their final resting places as well as for parades and fire musters.
Each year the Detroit Firemen's Fund holds events such as Firemen's Field Day, Zoo Day at the Detroit Zoo and several fundraising raffles.
The Fund also serves as the Official Department store, selling and assortment of shirts including official duty shirts, patches, hats and more. Proceeds from the sale of items help the Firemen's Fund continue to help Detroit Firefighters, their families and our community. Check out their website www.detroitfiremensfund.com.
Today in DFD History – June 7th, 1927
Detroit Fire Department's first ambulance went into service at Second and Burroughs, Engine 17's quarters.
This was only the second such unit in the United States. The ambulance was a gift to the department from Paxton Mendelssohn, a fire buff that later became a member of the Board of Fire Commissioners, in memory of his mother, Lydia. The ambulance also served as the department's Coffee Wagon.
Mendelssohn also donated the departments second ambulance in 1937, once again in memory of Lydia.
This ambulance was custom built on a Cadillac chassis by the Meteor Motor Company of Piqua, OH. In 1951 it was completely rebuilt and modernized, once again as a gift from Paxton.
1969 rolled around and once again Paxton donates a brand new modern Medical Unit to the department. As always, it was donated in memory of his mother.
“As soon as I saw the patch I knew I wanted to sent it to Melissa. I love that I could support Julie while honoring Melissa's father.”
These are the words of Vicki Salagan. Vicki and Dave made a donation to Julie's Journey and in exchange DFDLegacy sent a Detroit Fire Department patch as a gift to her friend Melissa.
Melissa's father, Robert Ritchie, was a Detroit Firefighter. He passed away when she was just a baby.
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Get a group of Detroit Firefighters together in a social setting and sooner or later someone starts it. "Ain't no party like a Detroit party, 'cuz a Detroit party don't stop! HUH!".
Others join in. With increased intensity
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