victorian era    
Volunteers The Roles The Day The Duties  
Old 21 housed both Engine Company No. 21 and Truck Company No. 6 (engine companies were in charge of the hose and water, while trucks brought the ladders). In 1893, Engine Company No. 21 consisted of eight men, each with a distinct role in fighting fires: the captain, lieutenant, engineer, engine driver, stoker, and three hosemen. The captain oversaw the entire company, and the lieutenant was second in command. The engine driver, the stoker, and the engineer all worked in conjunction with each other to drive the engine to the fire and then to maintain enough pressure to power the hoses while the hoseman did the job now associated with firefighting. The company’s engineer required a specific license to operate the steam boiler, and so he was the highest paid of all the men, at around 100 dollars a month. The engineer was in charge of igniting and maintaining the boiler throughout the fire. The stoker rode on the “tail board” of the engine with the engineer and fed the fire in the amounts deemed appropriate by the engineer, who watched gages on the side of the engine as they all worked. The truck company was similarly organized, with eight men: the captain, lieutenant, driver, tillerman (an additional driver at the back of the truck), and five truckmen.