AFS 1949-1968

Auxiliary Fire Service (AFS) 1949-1968

The AFS organisation, which was formed for the period of World War 2 and until the creation of the NFS was reformed on 29 November 1949, in name and in purpose, as a result of the Civil Defence (Fire Service) Regulations 1949. The role was basically the same as before, with men and women volunteers being recruited to work alongside ‘Regular’ Fire Brigades, to fight fires caused by air raids. Formed at the start of the period that became known as ‘The Cold War’, and the fear of the Soviet Union with the very real fear of firstly Atomic and then, Nuclear War, the men and women of the Auxiliary Fire Service trained for air attack on the United Kingdom. This was the era of green fire engines of various types, although the ‘Green Goddess’ is the most commonly remembered. Again, whilst women had many roles, they were not permitted to be part of the firefighting crews. Fortunately they were never called upon to perform their intended role but training did result in some loss of life. The organisation, along with the Civil Defence Corps, was disbanded on 1 April 1968.