"The Wild Bunch," Fire fighting in Mid-nineteenth
To familiarize students with fire fighting in Cleveland in the
aldermen, loco foco matches, incendiaries, ex-officio, sexton
1. What were the duties and responsibilities of firemen in mid-nineteenth
- General Instructions: Review vocabulary with which students
might not be familiar. This activity may be completed individually
or in a group.
- Distribute copies of the activity and have students complete
the following questions for discussion.
|a. ||Most of Cleveland's buildings were built of wood. How did this contribute to the need for a dependable volunteer fire department?|
|b. ||What happened to a fireman who did not fulfill his duties? Do you think the punishment given out was fair? Why or why not?|
|c. ||Why do you think bye-standers were sometimes pressed into helping at the scene of a fire?|
|d. ||Why was it important to have a warning system in place for fires in the city?|
|e. ||What did people believe caused the fire at the Giraffe Grocery store? |
|f. ||In the reading, "Memoirs of a 48er," what attracted the boys to the fire?|
|g. ||Who had the right, according to the city charter, to determine which buildings would be saved?|
|h. ||How was the job of the hook and ladder man specialized?|
- Most students have seen a fire, either on television or in
person. Have students imagine that they lived in Cleveland in
1846 and write a letter to a friend describing a fire they witnessed.
- Have students complete additional research on fire fighting
in mid-nineteenth century America and today and make group presentations
in class comparing the duties, responsibilities and equipment
of both periods.