I know at times it can seem that fire departments are slower than molasses at accepting and embracing change but if you look back at our history I think you'll find that we have changed rather dramatically in recent years.
The Romans were the first to employ "firefighters." They were a group of men that watched for fire and then tried to stop it using a bucket brigade, water pumps, and various tools to rip down buildings in the path of the fire.
Since that time the fire service has grown in size, technology and scope. We no longer just respond to fires. Firefighters are trained in advance emergency medicine, vehicle extrication (no small feat considering all the different types of vehicles out there today), hazardous materials, technical rescues of any and all kinds, skydiving, flying, boating, prevention...just to name a few. And we strive to be experts in every one of these areas.
Here are a few of the modern apparatus that we use today.
ARFF (Aircraft Rescue Fire Firefighting)
Type 1 Engine
I just thought you might like a very brief look into the history behind the fire service and that firefighter/paramedic treating you or your family member.