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The Roman emperor Augustus is credited with instituting one of the earliest known organized corps of firefighters in 24 BC who were called vigils urbani, or “the watchmen of the city.” Fighter fighting as a necessity, however, dates back much further than early Rome.

Pumps that were thought to have been specially designed for firefighting have been uncovered in ancient Egyptian ruins. Regulations for checking and preventing fires were advanced and instituted throughout the Roman and medieval periods, eventually being developed into what we would recognize as modern fire departments. The principal piece of firefighting equipment in ancient Rome and into early modern times was the bucket, passed from hand-to-hand to deliver water to the fire. After a major fire in Boston in 1631, the first fire regulation in America was established. In 1648 in New Amsterdam (now New York), fire wardens were appointed, thereby establishing the first public fire department in North America. Present day fire departments not only fight fires, but also answer medical calls, conduct rescue missions, assisting in evidence recovery, and execute underwater search operations. JW Fishers Manufacturing is proud to provide the right tools for the job to Fire Departments across the globe. When the mission is critical and failure is not an option, it pays to make JWF part of your team!

In April of 2018, JW Fishers attended the annual Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) in Indianapolis, Indiana. The first conference was held in 1929 in Chicago and was organized to discuss training measures, standards, and firefighting best practices. By 1939, attendance had reached a high of 247 people from 28 states as well as Washington, D.C. Early host cities include Memphis, Tennessee and St. Louis, Missouri where it was hosted by the Memphis Fire Services and the St. Louis Fire Department respectively.

Almost nine decades from its inception, the 2018 show attracted over 34,000 attendees from 65 countries across the globe! JW Fishers set up shop in a 10’ by 20’ booth in the Lucas Oil Stadium and brought it’s entire product line to display, demo, and discuss. It was a very successful show, allowing the JW Fishers team to enjoy face-to-face contact with many operators and decision makers from departments across the globe.

In addition to attending the show, JW Fishers raffled off a new SAR-1 Search and Recovery underwater metal detector to one lucky winner on the last day of the show. The SAR-1 was first introduced in January of 2017. This detector was the product of significant customer feedback, tireless attention to detail, and extensive product testing. The SAR-1 was specially designed for use by public safety dive teams, fire and rescue departments, law enforcement agencies, and military units that must locate metallic objects in underwater environments with poor visibility. The SAR-1 alerts the operator to the presence of metal by vibration, which is transmitted through the handle. In addition to vibration, the detector has ahigh-intensity LED display located directly in front of the diver’s face which is easy to see in all conditions. It’s “snareless” design with no external wires or cables, rugged construction, streamlined configuration, and bright yellow search coil help the operator find any target in ZERO visibility water!

This year’s lucky winner was Kevin Langley of the Grosse Ile Fire Department. The department services the greater area of Grosse Ile Township and the team consists of around 25 dedicated members. Gross Ile has 5 certified members on the Downriver Dive Team. This Dive Team’s mission is to conduct search and rescue operations for anyone that has gone into the water and cannot be located. The Downriver Dive Team’s equipment is located at the Grosse Ile Public Safety Building and is coordinated through the Downriver Mutual Aid. JW Fishers wishes the department the best of luck with their new equipment and we are proud to be part of their team!

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