Faithful and Fearless: A History of the St. John’s Fire Department by Robert Corbett
|November 26, 2013||Posted by Geoff Butt under History, Non-fiction|
Corbett provides an accurate portrayal of the history of fires in St. John’s and surrounding areas. Dating back about 400 years, he has compiled stories of fires that have devastated the area and shares the firefighting methods used by firefighters in battling these blazes. Being a Newfoundlander, I was eager to re-visit some of these fires that I was familiar with and to learn about those that happened many years ago. It was interesting to see how firefighting methods have evolved. In the earlier years, firefighters used a horse and buggy for transportation; whereas today, naturally, they use fully equipped fire trucks. I was also surprised to learn about their harsh working conditions even up until the 1980s – they were often treated poorly, used substandard equipment, and earned low wages.
The author has included several pictures throughout the book which added an element of realism and visualization. There is also a listing of the firefighters in the appendix and, being familiar with many firefighters, I found this was a tribute to them and to all firefighters who risk their lives to save people, pets, and properties.
“Faithful and Fearless” is a well-researched and extensive book covering some of the city’s most famous and even not-so-famous fires. It is well written collection that is sure to be of interest to those who work in the firefighting industry and to those who have an interest in local history.
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