At least, they put a towel underneath, to protect the door... Oh! Actually, it's there to protect the hose. - Most Exciting Planet

At least, they put a towel underneath, to protect the door… Oh! Actually, it’s there to protect the hose.

Some rules were made to be broken, but not the ones concerning people’s safety. How many cars do you see every day parked inappropriately? I hope you are not the one, who blocks fire hydrants, because firefighters don’t play nice when it comes to emergency. It is crucial for a fire hose to be straight, because it has to deliver the required flow at the required pressure. So, when a car gets in the way, firefighters do what has to be done. Watch the full story…

The history of organized firefighting can be traced as far back as ancient Rome. The first ever Roman fire brigade was managed by Marcus Licinius Crassus. It consisted of about 500 men. Crassus was a great businessman. Upon arriving at the fire scene, his firefighters did nothing until their employer could bargain over the price for their services with the property owner. If the owner had refused to pay a decent amount, the building was left to burn to ashes.
The first hydrants resembled faucets and were used for the bucket brigade method of firefighting. An iron cauldron from Ancient China can be considered the first original “hydrant.” Firefighting cauldrons were placed in strategic locations and kept filled with water.
In colonial America underground cisterns were used to store water for early fire fighting purposes. They continued to be used even after the introduction of the hydrant in many cities. Louisville, Kentucky used 124 cisterns, but no fire hydrants, until as late as the year 1861.
In Great Britain, after the 1666 fire in London, new mains with pre-drilled holes and wooden “fire plugs” were installed. They rose above ground level. In the 1700s, valves replaced wood stoppers, and firefighters started carrying portable standpipes, which were meant to be inserted into the plugs. Later, cast iron replaced wooden water mains. Then, branched fittings were placed on the mains at intervals, much like today’s fire hydrants.
The first post or pillar type hydrant was made by Mr. Frederick Graff Sr., Chief Engineer of the Philadelphia Water Works in 1801. It had a combination hose/faucet outlet and had the valve in the top.
Sources:

http://www.firehydrant.org/pictures/hydrant_history.html