What more can we say about the importance of fire hoses than what we know ourselves from living in cities and towns that are dependent on the swift reaction of firefighters to put out a fire in our homes and in our buildings. We might remember how important the fireman’s hose is from learning about the history of these hoses. Before hoses were invented people relied on their own reactions and on the reactions of their neighbors to put out a fire. When the standing pump was invented by Hero of Alexandria, people could form long bucket lines and use the water being pumped out to put out the fire.
It wasn’t until 1673 when Jan VanDer Heyden invented the first fireman’s hose in Holland that people had a faster way of delivering water to whatever was burning to put it out. Although the fire hose was invented in 1673, the rest of Europe including England depended on the bucket brigade. The importance of the hose to deliver vast amounts of water to put out a fire proved itself worth the cost and the expenditure when fires were put out and entire cities were no longer left to burn to the ground when one house in their midst caught on fire, which was a frequent story in Europe prior to the invention.
There have been tragedies involving the burning down of entire cities before the advent of the fire hose. However leaky the first hoses were, they carried more water and quicker than their predecessors the bucket brigade and the standing pump. Imagine how significant a well became when one no longer required a bucket with a rope to bring up water. That is how important the hose became when one no longer needed a line of people moving a bucket of water to the scene of the fire from the standing pump.
Inventions like the fire hose have led civilizations to expect to put out fires and to feel secure in their homes and in their buildings. Many centuries have passed since the invention of the fire hose. The earlier fire hoses were made of leather, strengthened with metal strings and leaky. The new fire hoses are made from mildew resistant synthetic material that can be rolled, coiled, strung out and stored quickly and efficiently by the fire fighters whose lives are now dependent on the safe construction of their major fire fighting tool, the fireman’s hose. The fire fighter is our modern hero who knows how to handle the force that the fire hose thrusts out when water from the fire hydrant is released into the fire hose to be used to put out a fire.
Without the proper equipment, a fire fighter could not respond to a situation. Without a hose, our hydrants or our modern standing pumps would be used for little more than bucket brigades. Modern fire fighting calls for hoses, the most important new invention in delivery of water from a well since the pump was invented in ancient Alexandria by Hero and used to keep out fires which, unfortunately, did not stop Alexandria from burning since they didn’t use the invention.