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"Cape Cod Firefighting"
Author Britton W Crosby
About The Book
Cape Cod Firefighting is one of the Images of America book series published by Arcadia Publishing. The book was written by me, Britton W. Crosby, and is my first professionally published work. In September 2002, I was approached by Dennis Fire Captain David Rodriguez and Joan Frederici, Director of the New England Fire and History Museum about doing a book. Dennis Firefighter Chris Guerreiro soon jumped on board and the four of us worked together to plan the book. The initial idea was to produce a book that might somehow financially benefit the museum. After a couple meetings, we met with our editor Jill Anderson from Arcadia Publishing. After hearing the "deal" the decision was made to "go for it!" We knew it would require a lot of work, but had no idea! And, we had a January deadline! This was necessary in order to have the book ready, printed, and available for the beginning of the summer season. That gave us only 2-3 months to do it all and have it to the publisher in time to meet the contract and avoid a financial penalty!
We sketched out a basic chapter plan and established some goals. The publisher has certain guidelines to follow which helped us design the book. The book would be exactly 128 pages, could have up to 240 images, depending on size and layout, and would be limited to 10 chapters or less. Images had to be scanned at a certain resolution, size, and type. Information needed to be factual, accurate, and written within certain guidelines and word counts. In many ways, this helped shape the book. Though it made it painful when it came to "chopping" stuff that just would not fit in the limited space.
Our goal was to document the history of each of the Cape department as much as possible. I knew that a lot of great old photos existed in fire department and personal photo albums. The tricky part was accessing them, scanning them into my laptop, and getting as much history as possible to go with them. As it worked out, there were many more images than at first I expected and while sometimes hard to find, a lot of history also existed in a variety of forms. We made a lot of trips to fire stations around the Cape and spent hours and hours going through material. A lot of support came from a great number of people and really contributed to making it all come together.
So, we got it done, on time, and are very happy with the final product which has just been released. It was a lot of work, but it was also a lot of fun. The history of the Cape Cod fire departments has been written, albeit in an abbreviated format. Many of the images in the book have never been seen before and I am very excited about being able to share them with you.
I hope you will get a copy for your own collection. I promise it is a must have if you have any interest in the history of Cape Cod's fire departments. It covers from the early 1800s to about 1980. All photographs are black and white and are of high quality. The book is available from a variety of sources, including of course the New England Fire & History Museum in Brewster. It is also available at the Fire Bell in Dennis. Most of the big name book stores such as Barnes & Noble, Borders, Waldens have it, as do many smaller local bookstores and shops. And, if you catch me at the right time, I might have one for you as well. I hope to see you soon.
Cape Cod Firefighting
Chapter 1 - In The Beginning
Outlines the beginnings of the Cape's oldest fire departments and the equipment they used,
including hand drawn, horse drawn, chemical, and steam apparatus.
Chapter 2 - Fire Stations
Continues to outline the beginnings of the fire departments and the firehouses they have
Chapter 3 - Fire Apparatus
This chapter shows some of the earliest motorized apparatus on the Cape up to the early
1960s. There are some great pictures of Maxim, American LaFrance, Mack, and other
Chapter 4 - Forest Fires
So much of the Cape's fire history involved the forest fire problems and the invention
of the brush breaker to combat them. Some great historical photos here.
Chapter 5 - Rescue Squads
This chapter covers the development of Cape Cod's rescue squads and EMS system.
Chapter 6 - Fires and Disasters
There have been some very big fires over the years. Many are included in this chapter.
Chapter 7 - Firefighters
The firefighter is the most important part of the fire department. This chapter shows a
lot of them from days gone by.
Chapter 8 - Modernization
The 1960s saw some changes and improvements in apparatus, including diesel fire
engines, ladder trucks, and more modern equipment.
Chapter 9 - Behind the Scenes
This chapter includes some great pictures from behind the scenes, including communications,
fire prevention, training, and just plain fun.
These sample images are from the book.
Cape Cod Firefighting is Copyright 2003 by Britton W Crosby.