Resources: Learn More About Firefighting History

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Members of a ladder company pose with their firehouse dogs.

Wanting to explore other fire museums? Looking for more information on firefighting? Or, are you investigating your family history? The following resources are provided for your exploration and to guide your research. If, after going through these sources, you would like to know more, please email the Museum at

GeneAlogy resources

Family members can obtain the complete service record of their ancestors from the FDNY Personnel Records Unit. Please contact the Unit at for more information.

Once you have obtained your ancestor's service dates, the companies they were attached to and any particular awards they received, please fill out our genealogy form. We will cross-reference it with our collection and perhaps add to your information.
   In order to find more information about your ancestor, you may also contact the George F. Mand Library, at the FDNY’s Fire Academy, by calling (212) 360-4413.

NEW YORK FIREFIGHTING history resources

The following are print and online resources related to the history and operations of New York City’s fire department.

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Asbury, Herbert. Ye Olde Fire Laddies. New York, 1930.

Boucher, Micheal L, Gary R. Urbanowicz, and Frederick B. Melahn, Jr. The Last Alarm: The History and Tradition of Supreme Sacrifice in the Fire Departments of New York City. Evansville, 2006.

Calderone, John and Jack Lerch. Wheels of the Bravest: A History of FDNY Fire Apparatus. Howard Beach, 1984, 1993.

Corbett, Glen P. and Donald J. Cannon. Historic Fires of New York City. Charleston, 2005.

Costello, Augustine E. Our Firemen: A History of the New York Fire Departments, Volunteer and Paid, from 1609 to 1887. New York: Knickerbocker Press, 1997.

Dunshee, Kenneth. Enjine! - Enjine! New York, 1939.

Dunshee, Kenneth. As You Pass By. New York, 1952.

Fire Safety Education Fund. Fire Department, City of New York, Paducah, 2000. Revised edition 2002.

Golway, Terry. So Others Might Live. New York, 2002.

Hashagen, Paul. A Distant Fire: A History of FDNY Heroes. Dover, 1995.

Holzman, Robert S. The Romance of Firefighting. New York, 1956.

Johnson, Gus. F.D.N.Y: The Fire Buff’s Handbook of the New York Fire Department, 1900-1975. Belmont, 1977.

Kernan, J. Frank. Reminiscences of the Old Fire Laddies and Volunteer Fire Departments of New York and Brooklyn. New York, 1885.

Our Firemen: The Official History of the Brooklyn Fire Department. Brooklyn, 1892.

Sheldon, George William, The story of the volunteer fire department of the city of New York. New York, 1882.

Smith, Dennis. Dennis Smith’s History of Firefighting in America: 300 Years of Courage. New York, 1978.

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Website Resources

Fire Department of the City of New York, official website

FDNY Training and Procedures

FDNY Apparatus

Listen to the FDNY live on theBravest

Alarm Box Lookup

Unofficial Home Page of FDNY

Mike Boucher's FDNY History Page

other fire museums

There are many fire museums in the United States and the following links are just a sampling of some of their websites that may be of interest to you.

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Fire Museum Links

Fire Museum Network


Hall of Flame Fire Museum and the National Firefighting Hall of Heroes


Los Angeles FD Historical Society

LA County Fire Museum

African-American Firefighter Museum

Fire Memories Museum

Guardians of the City – Fire Department or

San Jose Fire Museum


Denver Firefighter's Museum


Jacksonville Fire Museum


Aurora Regional Fire Museum


Fire Museum of Maryland


Michigan Firehouse Museum

New York:

FASNY Museum of Firefighting


Fireman's Hall Museum of Philadelphia


Fire Museum of Memphis


Houston Fire Museum


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History & Heritage

New York has had organized firefighting since the Dutch colonial days. More

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Volunteer Era

Organized firefighting has a long history in the City, beginning in the 1600's. More

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Paid Dept. Era

Read about the development of professional firefighting in NYC. More

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Fire Insurance

Discover the relationship between fire insurance and firefighting in NYC. More