In the early 1870s, the United States experienced two of the largest fires in the country’s history, the Chicago Fire and the Boston Fire, which killed hundreds and destroyed many buildings. These events have prompted an increased focus on training and education of firefighters. In particular, by the end of the 19th century, training centres for firefighters were established in most major cities, and in 1909 the Firefighter College opened in New York.
With the advent of a large number of cars in the United States, they began to be used for a large number of tasks, including for performing the fire service. The vehicles have made it possible to reduce the response time to incoming fire alarms, and the efficiency of fighting fires has increased. In addition to performing the tasks of fire protection in cities, fire engines were used to protect warehouses, airfields and army camps from fire.
– Includes 4 firefighters, a boy and a cat
– Highly detailed clothing and equipment
This release has five figures , six if you count the cat! Fire crews of this period wore long leather jackets, I believe it was over cotton shirts and trousers and a leather style of boot due to the obvious risks from wearing rubber. The jackets had broad collars, so that they could be lifted up to protect the neck and side of the face from the heat of the fire. The coats weren’t button up, but had a clasp design closing method, which being metal I would assume had the potential to get very hot. The hat design, is the leather styled helmet, with a metal eagles head, that would support the helmet plate on the front with the badge of the specific fire unit on it. No painting detail or decals have been provided, and so you are open to finish as you wish.
All of the firemen have bare hands. I would have thought that hand protection of some kind would have been worn, however, I do not know this for a fact. Men of the period quite often had moustaches, and that detail has been replicated on three of these figures. The details on the face and hands is of a high standard, and an aspect the ICM do well. Included with the four firemen is a child being carried by one of them, this figure being in scale again with pleasing physical detail. The clothing on this figure would appear to be restricted to a vest and shorts. The final figure provided is a cat, again being carried by one of the firemen. With a surprisingly well done head, moulded separately from the rest of the body, and it is pleasing to see that some texture has also been moulded on the cat. The last thing included in this set, is four fire axes, which haven’t really changed in design over many years, and I may by mistaken but I believe fire crews today may still have the same design of tool, even though they tend to use Halligan Bars, rather than axes to open doors.
The crew figures in this offering are pleasing in all of their details, but I would have liked to have seen some decals included, for the fire helmets. Another complaint I have about the crew, is that with these being firemen, How come no-one is holding a hose? So while pleasing it does have some short falls. Maybe a second set of figures is in the offering with a different vehicle set up.