This page contains information about the Boston Protective Department (BPD), including station locations, members, apparatus, historical archives, and stories of the incidents the department responded to. The BPD was not a city department and was not staffed by city employees. It was funded as an association of insurance companies in Boston who sought to protect the commercial buildings and contents from damage by fire, smoke and water. In this endeavor, the BPD worked very closely with the Boston Fire Department and the Boston Police Department.
Many of the members of the BPD got their start in the emergency response business at the BPD, and later became firefighters or police officers in the city. At its height of activity, the BPD had three stations (usually old firehouses) and responded to many incidents. Nearly all large cities in the United States had similar departments, using names such as Fire Patrol, Fire Salvage, or Protective. The BPD received a charter from the Massachusetts Legislature in 1874, granting legal status to the BPD and its operations. The Boston Protective Department was disbanded in 1959.
1878 – Annual Report of the B.P.D. (4th)
1879 – Annual Report of the B.P.D. (5th)
1889 – Annual Report of the B.P.D. (15th)
1901 – Annual Report of the B.P.D. (27th)
1907 – Annual Report of the B.P.D. (33rd)
1899 – Story of a New House for Protective Co. 3
Oct. 29, 1911 – The Boston Protective Department in 1911
July 1, 1920 – Samuel Abbott retires, Henry E. Thompson now Supt.
July 4, 1920 – Story of the Retirement of Samuel Abbott
1923 – Story of a B.P.D. Crash in Roxbury
1924 – Story of a B.P.D. Crash in East Boston – Photo