• (GA) IPA: /ˈfaɪɹmən/
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈfaɪəmən/

fireman (plural firemen)

  1. (firefighting) Someone (especially one who is male) who is skilled in the work of fighting fire.
    • 1993, Nancy F. Cott (editor), History of Women in the United States. Historical Articles on Women's Lives and Activities. 15. Women and War, page 432:
      By February 1944 there were over two thousand women employed at the Alabama Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Company [...]. There were also female firemen on almost every shipyard crane [...].
    • 30 June 2019 'Don't call us for cats stuck in trees', Fire Brigade warns (Daily Telegraph ↗)
      For firemen everywhere rescuing cats from trees has been as much a part of the job as tackling blazing buildings.
  2. (rail transport, nautical) A person (originally a man) who keeps the fire going underneath a steam boiler (originally, shoveling coal by hand), particularly on a railroad locomotive or steamship.
    • ca. 1913 The wreck of Old 97 [ballad, Blue Ridge Mountains], verse 3:
      He looked around his cab at his black greasy fireman, saying 'shovel on a little more coal, and when we cross that White Oak Mountain, you can watch Old 97 roll'.
    • 1938, Xavier Herbert, Capricornia, Chapter IX, p. 140,
      No grass grew under a train when the engineer let Fireman McLash take the throttle.
  3. (rail transport) By extension of the above, an assistant on any locomotive, whether steam-powered or not.
  4. (baseball) A relief pitcher.
  5. (mining, historical) A safety inspector in coal mines.
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