The modern-day Dallas Fire Department has a lot of rules and regulations which the firefighters are required to be thoroughly familiar with. Have you ever considered how those rules and regulations may have differed back when firefighters had horses instead of motorized apparatus?
Thanks to the generosity of Ms. Diana Oberti of Washington state, you don't have to wonder, you can read the Dallas Fire Department Rules and Regulations that were published on May 31, 1904.
Ms. Oberti’s great-grand uncle was James R. McGee who was a Captain of DFD Hose Co. #1 from 1902 to 1910. He then moved to Seattle and, later joined the Seattle Fire Department from which he eventually retired.
Ms. Oberti was recently in Dallas and stopped by the museum to donate family memorabilia related to Captain McGee's career with the Dallas Fire Department. This donation includes some priceless photographs of the Dallas Fire Department and the aforementioned rules in the form of a pocket-sized, leather-bound booklet. On the first page, written in cursive is the following:
"J.R. McGee, Capt. #1 Hose Co, June 18, 1904"
Here is a sample of the kind of rules found inside the book:
"It shall be the duty of the drivers to take proper care of their horses, harness, etc and to exercise their horses at least one hour each day, never going more than two blocks from the house. They shall have their horses, harness and stables cleaned by 9 a.m. No one will be allowed to neglect or mistreat the animals belonging to the Department."
The Dallas Firefighters Museum has scanned the entire book at high resolution, and you may read this treasure for yourself. Click the link below to download the booklet in PDF form.