In the early days of the City of San Diego, Firefighters did not receive benefits and the job was extraordinarily hazardous. Firefighters were often harmed or killed during the execution of their duties.
The poor and working class families from which Firefighters hailed rarely possessed the means to pay burial costs and funerary expenses for their loved ones killed in the line of duty. 
In 1907, a group of Firefighters bonded together to remedy this problem and the San Diego Fireman's Relief Association was born.