Publicly funded fire departments are critical to our society. We rely on them for fire prevention and fighting, and their influence has shaped our cities for centuries. It's time the software industry learned from history and created a public service of our own.
The history of fire companies dates back millennia, but their current form is relatively new, just a few hundred years old. The evolution of these companies happened in parallel in different nations, but I’d like to tell the story of how London’s fire brigades became the public service we know today. We'll look at how fire departments have evolved starting with the Roman Empire all the way through the formation of the first publicly funded fire brigades in London. By the end, I hope to convince you that we need an Internet emergency service and that we should take a shortcut to get there.