Have you ever been to a fire fighting museum? Let’s visit the largest fire department located in Kiev. In spite of such disadvantages as outdated equipment and acute shortage of firemen in that city, it’s necessary to mention that a museum of fire engineering is available. It doesn’t contain many exhibits but those ones present reflect every stage of fire service development.
The fire department was built simultaneous to the block in the end of 1970.
The department also embraces summer and winter sports complexes where Kiev garrison is trained and international contests are held. Besides, there are apartments for personnel on the upper floors.
The museum is quite small and was opened in the beginning of 2004.
Its exhibits give us an opportunity to understand the way fire equipment looked like during the last 120 years. Some of them don’t have any counterparts and were used only by the Kiev garrison. Can you imagine that all the cars here are in a good condition?
The problem of fire extinguishing is very old. It was extremely acute when the houses were wooden as even a small fire could destroy half of the city. Kiev was not an exception and suffered from severe fires. The most destructive and famous one was observed in 1811. The fire was followed by construction of fire departments. The first fire equipment was simple and consisted in wagons and horses. One wagon carried firemen and small instruments. The next wagon had fire hoses, water barrel and a pump.
That time fire hoses were made of regular clothes.
A manual pump couldn’t work long.
Several people participated in water pumping and had to be substituted by others from time to time.
Later on a manual pump was superseded by a steam one.
It is not a fire car yet but it could do the work instead of people which was a pleasant thing. The pump had one significant disadvantage: it took 15-20 minutes to heat up. So, the pump was used to extinguish large fires and existed till 1920.
The first fire car in Kiev appeared in 1913. It couldn’t survive till now and only a picture of it is left. Fire men occupied longitudinal benches sitting back to back. Behind their backs there was an extension ladder and a box with fire instruments. A pump and a fire hose were located at the back part of the car.
1920 was marked by construction of domestic fire-engines on the basis of the truck Zis-5. The first Zis-5 entered the Kiev garrison in 1936. The driver and the chief fire man could occupy places in a glass cabin though the rest of the crew was still sitting along the sides. Winter was the most dangerous time for firemen as they got wet and caught cold and other diseases.
The model was modified in 1940. The cabin is extended and embraced the whole crew. The pump was placed in front of the heat radiator.
ZiS-150 is another exhibit. It appeared in 1950 and was used for transportation of around 100 fire hoses. After the car reached the place of the accident, the hoses were uploaded with the help of a special mechanism.
Another large sample is represented by a ladder truck which is 17 meters long and is totally useless today when skyscrapers prevail.
‘Gorkovsky Car Plant’
Small exhibits. Safety helmets used at different times.
A fire boat.
Training base of the fire department.
Scaling ladder and several floors to climb.
The ladder is very light.
Its upper part is supplied with a pin used to break a window on the upper floor. The ladder can be reliably fixed on the window due to the teeth.
The fire department.
The car carries artificial respiratory units.
Main part of the equipment is outdated.
They will hardly be able to extinguish 30 floors of fire.
Famous tubes used by firemen to go down in response to a signal.