Omaha in Douglas County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Omaha Firefighters Memorial
Honor • Tradition
As pioneers settled in small towns and villages across Nebraska, the shout of “Fire” summoned fear and panic in every person who heard it. If they were lucky, bucket brigades could save part of a burning building and its surrounding structures.
By 1860, seven years before Nebraska became a state, the Pioneer Hook and Ladder Company was established to keep the City of Omaha safe in case of fire. These dedicated volunteers went from using hand-drawn to horse-drawn fire wagons and pumpers. In 1878, five volunteer firefighters were killed in the Grand Central Hotel fire in downtown Omaha. Due to this tragedy, and the continued growth of the city’s business, industry and overall population, Omaha’s leaders soon realized the need for a professional firefighting force. By 1877, Omaha was large enough to establish a full time paid professional fire department.
At the turn of the century, the need to address worker’s rights and job safety created the labor movement throughout the United States. This was also the case for professional firefighters in Omaha. In 1902, the first organized labor union was formed as the
From such humble beginnings grew Omaha’s current modern fire service. Today, the Omaha Fire Department is second to none when it comes to fire suppression, fire prevention, fire investigation, technical rescue, emergency medical services, and professional training.
Firefighting is a vocation. The brave men and women who enter it are trained to go into dangerous, difficult and unforgiving situations. Their workplace is challenging, perilous, and has little margin for error. Firefighters understand that when the alarm sounds, they are putting their lives on the line, and they must depend upon one another. They know that any one of them may not return. This monument serves as a solemn reminder, to all who serve, of their own mortality.
This memorial was first conceived by the men and women of International Association of Firefighters Local 385. It was created as a tribute to those who have answered their final alarm. These brave firefighters served with dignity, integrity,
“Firemanship is a peculiar vocation steeped in tradition. The man who joins just to have a job shouldn’t be a fireman. There’s sort of a fraternity that surrounds men who face danger together. The fire department becomes a part of you and you of it.”
Fire Chief Omaha Fire Department 1953 – 1962
Died of pneumonia on January 8, 1962 after leaving a hospital bed to respond to a two-alarm fire.
[Honor Roll of Firefighters]
Erected by Omaha Firefighters and Concerned Individuals and Organizations.
Topics. This historical marker memorial is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public Work • Disasters • Labor Unions • Man-Made Features.
Location. 41° 15.736′ N, 95° 55.537′ W. Marker is in Omaha, Nebraska, in Douglas County. Marker is on Riverfront Drive, on the right when traveling south. Memorial is in Lewis and Clark Landing park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 515 Riverfront Drive, Omaha NE 68102, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Captain William Clark and Private Reuben Field (about 600 Missouri River Flood (about 700 feet away); Labor (about 700 feet away); Union Walk (about 800 feet away); Preserving Our Heritage (approx. 0.2 miles away); People, Places, and Stories (approx. 0.2 miles away); Nature exerted herself to butify the Senery (approx. 0.2 miles away); Westwardly by the Waters (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Omaha.
Also see . . .
1. Omaha Firefighters Memorial. (Submitted on August 1, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Lewis and Clark Landing. (Submitted on August 1, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on August 1, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 692 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on August 1, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.