"The Minneapolis Fire Department's Station 18 was an intriguing place. Once in a while I was lucky enough to be at the fire-house when the alarm box tripped and a fire call sounded. Bells rang, there was the sound of running feet overhead, and the firemen came down the brass pole one after another and raced to their places on the rigs. At the same time the stall doors opened and the horses bolted into their places under harnesses suspended overhead. With his horses in position, the man in the driver's seat pulled on a release rope and the harness dropped onto the horses, ready to be snapped into place by the men. By this time the enginehouse doors would be open. Hooves pounded on the plank flooring as the horses responded to drivers' orders. Warning bells clanged, and calls to the teams cut through the air."
Melvin Frank, "In North Minneapolis: Sawmill City Boyhood," Minnesota History (winter 1980).