Photo: Joanna Graham/Mayoral Photography Office

Established in 1865, the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) has been stopping fires and saving lives for over 150 years. As New York’s Bravest, they serve more than 8 million residents within a 320 square meter radius across all five boroughs. Here are our top 10 secrets of the historic group.

10. Why is it called the FDNY and not NYFD?

The Fire Department of the City of New York is referred to as the FDNY (not the NYFD) for reasons that occurred over the centuries. In 1737, the City’s General Assembly passed a bill called “An Act for the Better Extinguishing
of Fires that May Happen within the City of New York” in which it was determined the force ““..shall be called The Firemen of the City of New York; …” Additional legislation was passed at the state and city level that cast the the name  in stone, according to Gary R. Urbanowicz Executive Director of the NYC Fire Museum.

A little before the Civil War in 1855, there was some confusion when an act created “The Commissioners of the New York Fire
Department.” Most histories relating to the acronym go back to a memorandum from 1870, but legislation created in the 1860s reaffirmed the use of the “Fire Department of New York.”