Life in the Red Brigade

Life in the Red Brigade

London Fire Brigade

Published

Excerpt:

seventy-eight men. That this force is much too small for the work to be done is proved by the fact, that the same men have sometimes to turn out three, four or five times in a night, to work of the most trying and dangerous nature. There is no occupation in which the lives of the men employed are so frequently risked, and their physical endurance so severely tried, as that of a London fireman. As there are, on the average, five fires every night all the year round, it follows that he is liable to be called out several times every night; and, in point of fact, this actually takes place very often. Sometimes he has barely returned from a fire, and put off his drenched garments, when he receives another "call," and is obliged to put them on again, and go forth weary--it may be fasting--to engage in another skirmish with the flames. In all weathers and at all seasons--hot or cold, wet or dry--he must turn out at a moment's notice, to find himself, almost before he is well awake, in the midst of stifling smoke, o