Fire Buffs promote the general welfare of the fire and rescue service and protect its heritage and history. Famous Fire Buffs through the years include New York Fire Surgeon Harry Archer, Boston Pops Conductor Arthur Fiedler, New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and - legend has it - President George Washington.

Ready to roll from Springfield Fire Headquarters on North Fountain Avenue

Wednesday, April 11, 2007



Examples of Pulmotor

Long before today's paramedics, the Springfield Fire Division acquired a "Pulmotor" resuscitator in 1916 to provide emergency aid.

The pressure-driven device - also known as a "Lungmotor" or "Lung-o-motor" - allowed firemen to help people in respiratory distress, according to Fire Capt. Cal Roberds' book "From Buckets to Diesels." A second device was placed in service by 1940.

The ``inhalator squad'' responded aboard a pumper or a chief's car until the introduction of a full-time Emergency Squad van in 1949.

The electric company also fielded a resuscitator squad, a common practice in many cities to assist victims of electrocution.

A typical run occurred on Feb. 8, 1938, when according to the Springfield Daily News, Howard Kisling, 38, of 724 ½ Grant Street, suffered a fatal heart attack in a downtown office.

``The inhalator squad of the city fire department and the Ohio Edison Co. first aid squad worked nearly two hours in an attempt to revive him,'' according to an obituary posted on the web site. ``Coroner Austin Richards said death was caused by acute cardiac failure.’’

In another incident, according to the Daily News, Rebecca Ann Lewis, 78, of 1520 Selma Road, died March 15, 1950 at City Hospital after a heart attack. ``The Fire Department inhalator squad was called to administer oxygen in an attempt to save her life,'' according to another obituary on