"The Fire Ladies"
Although women were not allowed to become members of the Toledo Fire Department until 1984, lady equines had been distinguishing themselves for over a hundred years, before being retired in 1916.  One instance of their ability was back in 1902 when fireman, Benny Miner, driver of  Number 2’s steamer, located at Eagle Lane and Cherry, was feeding his prize team of Percheron mares, named "Min" and "Mag".  Suddenly, an alarm sounded for a Summit Street store,  it was at the noon hour and he knew the downtown streets would be busy.  He raced to his seat and grabbed the reins.  Mag and Min went like a streak from their stalls at the sound of the bell.  Their harnesses dropped and belly bands snapped.  A rookie fireman, relieving at the station, raced by the front of the team, but forgot to insert the bits in their mouths.  The doors opened and the team took off dragging the coal burning steam wagon behind them, at what even a race car driver would consider a good clip.  As soon as they hit the street, he knew he had no control and wondered how he was going to guide this runaway team through the downtown traffic.  He said he felt foolish sitting high atop this rocking steamer pulling at the horses shoulders, but Mag and Min were high spirited and speedy horses and were used to making fire runs in the downtown area.  They made the correct turn on Cherry Street and then onto Summit St.,  wove their way through the many wagons and the other horses and pedestrians that thronged the  streets in front of them.  It all ended happily when the ladies pulled up directly in front of the fire and stopped.  Driver Miner slid from his seat, patted them on the neck and said, “Nice going ladies, you earned your oats today.”  When asked later in the day how he could account for the unbelievable actions of the horses, fireman Miner said, What do you expect?  These are downtown ladies and they know their district as well as I do."

Bill O’Connor,  Toledo Fire Department Historian