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DVDs from the IFSI Library
The following DVDs are available for loan to Illinois residents. If any entry is linked, use the catalog link to place a materials request. For unlinked items, call the library to request at 217-333-8925.
Wildfires Fighting Fire with Fire
Call Number: SD421.3 .W5 1995
Publication Date: November 1, 2004
During the summer of 1994 there were an unprecedented number of fires near new communities and residential areas which had built up into the forests. Firefighters had to battle wildfires--at one point, two fires coming together--in an heroic attempt to save lives and property.
Smoke Jumper Training for Airborne Fire Fighting in Missoula, Montana, 1949
Call Number: SD421.32.M9.S75 2012
Publication Date: November 6, 2008
Three film segments show smoke jumpers training in the 1940's. A brief history of transporting firefighters is followed by an introduction to equipment and protective clothing. Trainees perform physical conditioning exercises, learn landing techniques for land and water, descend from tree landings, and practice plane exits and parachute maneuvers.
The best of the historic Stillman fire films
Call Number: TH9145 .S54 2007
Publication Date: 2007
Films in this collection include footage: of the Tacoma Bridge collapse in 1940, the aftermath of a B-29 bomber crash into the Empire State Building, New York fires, ship and oil refinery fires, deadly fires, a large ocean liner fire and an oil fire, and of firemen on tall ladders being raised straight up into the air.
Oil Fire Fighting
Call Number: TH9119 .O3 2004
Publication Date: July 17, 2008
Explores the occupation of oil fire fighters, from the use of explosives to the exploits of pioneers like Myron Kinley, in environments as challenging as the Iraqi desert or the North Sea.
Stillman's Firefighting Demonstrations
Call Number: TH9145 .S54 2004
A collection of vintage film clips of firefighters demonstration films. Shot more than 50 years ago, these films were used by actual fire companies to train their men and show the public the importance of firefighters in protecting lives.
Up in Flames: A History of Fire Fighting in the Forest, 1984
Call Number: SD421.3 .U7 2007
Publication Date: March 25, 2009
Documents the development of North American fire detection, communication, and fire suppression technology from the inception of the lookout tower to the weather satellite. Uses archival footage to show the devastation of fires such as Idaho's Big Blowup in 1910 and Oregon's 1933 Tillamook Burn.
Call Number: SD421.3 .W5 2012
Publication Date: October 22, 2007
Men and equipment fought for 20 days to control forest fires in the Wenatchee National Forest, in Washington State in the summer of 1970
About this page
The resources on this page provide an overview of fire service history topics. Resources will include information about the subtopics featured on the Apparatus History, Fire Department Histories, and IFSI History tabs.
Books from the IFSI Library
The following books are available for loan to Illinois residents. If any entry is linked, use the catalog link to place a materials request. For unlinked items, call the library to request at 217-333-8925.
Crucible of Fire by
Call Number: TH9503 .H45 2011
Publication Date: 2011-06-01
Crucible of Fire describes how the practical knowledge gained from fighting nineteenth-century fires gave form and function to modern fire protection efforts. The great fires formed a crucible of learning for firefighters, engineers, architects, underwriters, and citizens. Veteran firefighter Bruce Hensler shows how the modern American fire service today is a direct result of the lessons of history and a rethinking of the efficacy of volunteerism in fighting fires.
Eating Smoke by
Call Number: TH9503 .T43 2012
Publication Date: 2012-08-10
Author Mark Tebeau shows how the changing practices of firefighters and fire insurers shaped the built landscape of American cities and the experience of urban life. Drawing on fire department and insurance company archives, he contrasts the invention of a heroic culture of firefighters with the rational strategies of fire underwriters.
Fire Engines Firefighters by
Call Number: TH9360 .D64
Publication Date: 1988-12-12
Provides a complete history of the American fire service from the earliest volunteer bucket brigades to the specialized professionals of today.
Fire in America! by
Call Number: SD421.3 .P96 1997
Publication Date: 1976-01-01
Studies twenty-five major fires in U.S. history from 1621 to the present. Shows how these disasters led to improved fire-fighting techniques.
Fires and Firefighters by
Call Number: TH9503 .M6 1955 1st ed.
Publication Date: 1955
An exciting and affectionate chronicle of the men who have met fire at all hours of the day and night, and of their weapons of battle, from eighteenth century bucket brigades to siren-screaming hook-and-ladder.
The Fire Service by
Call Number: TH9117 .R46 2006
Publication Date: 2006-05-01
This book explores the origins behind some of the most popular American fire services symbols and includes a timeline listing major fires and firefighter deaths throughout history.
Heritage of Flames by
Call Number: TH9505 .A10 1977 1st ed.
Publication Date: 1977
Fire - that explosive chemistry - is the power source which, when controlled by man, has turned the wheels of civilization, lighted home and hearts in every land, and launched man from his earth into the boundless universe. that same fyrie element when loosed from its traces knows no retreat, ranking with disease, famine, and natural disaster in dealing death and destruction. Illusive, cunning, stubborn, and unpredictable, its scorching rage has time and again reduced man and his world to lifeless ash.
Illinois Fire Service Institute Library
Fire Files Digital Library
This digital library, created by a librarian who works at the U.S. Fire Administration library, contains collections and exhibits to preserve fire service history.
Fire ReSearch Engine
This search engine was designed to search relevant fire service and research literature. Many U.S. and international publications are indexed and searched by this engine.
A digital record of American history from the collections of the Library of Congress and other institutions.
Digital Public Library of America
Brings together materials from America's libraries, archives, and museums and makes it freely available.
These historically focused databases are a good starting point for articles and other literature related to fire service history.
America: History & Life
An index that provides article-level access to scholarly literature, including journal articles and book chapters. Covers the history and culture of the United States and Canada.
Searches older journals, primary sources, and books; covering many subjects including history