July 20, 2016

2659 DENMARK (Faroe Islands) - The Tórshavn Fire Brigade testing a new fire engine in 1962

The inhabitants of Tórshavn, the capital city of Faroe Islands, numbered 984 in 1880. Most of them were living in the "Reyn" quarter of the town where the houses were huddled together, prompting extreme caution when people were dealing with fire. There were no fire hydrants, water pipelines being non-existent. In case of fire a fire pump was hauled to wherever the fire had broken out. Water for the fire pump was retrieved from the sea or from rivers.

Since the engine had no feed-pump, a human chain was formed and buckets of water passed along it from the shore or the river bank. In 1822 a fire station was built in the "Reyn" quarter, and firefighting equipment was purchased. All of these tools were moved in 1898 to the new engine house north of the old Municipal School by the town square. An actual fire brigade didn't come into being until 1933, when the city had approximately 3,000 inhabitants, and fire protection ponds were made.

It was a great event in the city’s history when the fire brigade got its first fire engine in 1948, a Bedford K truck, purchased in England. Another fire truck arrived in 1962, this time from Denmark, a used truck built in 1937. To its great advantage this "Triangle" fire engine had a water-tank containing 1,500 litres. If the firefighters were not fighting a raging blaze, they usually managed to extinguish it using the truck's pressure pump before the conventional water hoses and pumps were in place.

Old Fire Trucks - Post Cards - Posta official website
About the stamps
The two stamps are part of the serie Old Fire Trucks, about which I wrote here.

Sender: Holger
Sent from Tórshavn (Faroe Islands / Denmark), on 27.06.2016

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