In the United Kingdom, until their abolishment, Municipal Corporations were powerful organizations. In their Victorian heyday, with the growth of urbanization and industrialization, they could be responsible for the promotion, organization, funding, building and management of everything from housing to water supplies, power in the form of both gas and electricity, to the introduction of electric trams; almost any activity that the city fathers thought was necessary to promote the economic, social and environmental well-being of their municipality.
Fire departments were again formed by property insurance companies beginning in the 17th century after the Great Fire of London in 1666. The first insurance brigades were established the following year. Others began to realize that a lot of money could be made from this practice, and ten more insurance companies set up in London before 1832: The Alliance, Atlas, Globe, Imperial, London, Protector, Royal Exchange, Sun Union and Westminster. Each company had its own fire mark, a durable plaque that would be affixed to the building exterior. A company's fire brigade would not extinguish a burning building if it did not have the correct fire mark.
Search and rescue
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21934077 - privatised