Napoleon Bonaparte reordered the various fire fighting organisations in Paris (and later other cities) into a unit of the French Army called the Sapeurs-pompiers.
However, during World War II, military-style steel helmets were adopted, similar to the Brodie helmet used by the British Army, to improve protection during air raids.
A composite helmet was reintroduced after the end of the war.
The leather helmet is an international symbol of firefighters dating to the early years of firefighting.
Typically, traditional leather helmets have a brass eagle adornment affixed to the helmet's top front of the helmet to secure a leather shield to the helmet front.
These helmets were modelled on the helmets of the Sapeurs-pompiers which Captain Sir Eyre Massey Shaw had seen on a visit to Paris and introduced to the Metropolitan Fire Brigade in London in 1868, replacing a black leather helmet.
The design was widely copied by other British and British Empire fire services.
For centuries, firefighters have worn helmets to protect them from heat, cinders and falling objects.
Although the shape of most fire helmets has changed little over the years, their composition has evolved from traditional leather to metals (including brass, nickel and aluminum), to composite helmets constructed of lightweight polymers and other plastics.
This style of helmet was widely copied across Europe and beyond.