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|Last Updated: Monday, November 05, 2012|
County of Los Angeles Fire Museum Association
The County of Los Angeles Fire Museum opened to the public in December of 2009 in Bellflower, California, and offers the public an interesting look at the rich history of firefighting. The museum features a wide variety of antique fire apparatus and equipment dating back to the 1860's.
1923 Stutz City Service Ladder Truck
Currently Schneider is working on completing the restoration of a 1923 Stutz City Service Ladder Truck that was originally in service with the Los Angeles Fire Department. This fire truck is unique in that it is tillered and is 41' long. According to Schneider, the Los Angeles Fire Department was the only agency to order the tillered City Service trucks, and they owned five of the vehicles. The museum has the only remaining truck.
Steamer Engine Collection
An 1860's Button Handpumper is the oldest apparatus owned by the County of Los Angeles Fire Museum. It also has the largest collection of steamers on the West Coast and possibly in America, according to Schneider. With a total of seven steamer engines in various stages of restoration, the museum boasts a diverse collection. Multiple manufacturers are represented, spanning a period from 1888 to 1907.
Display of Original "Emergency" Television Show Fire Apparatus
The County of Los Angeles Fire Museum is also home to a display about the 1970's television show, "Emergency". Included in the display are the original Squad 51 and Engine 51, along with the second Engine 51 that was used in later episodes.
Plans for New County of Los Angeles Fire Museum Facility
In the works is the construction of a new state-of-the-art facility. The new building will house the fire museum, a fire department-themed restaurant, and banquet facilities. Public education will also be an important focus of the new fire museum. Paul Schneider says, "We wanted to use the fire department's popularity with America's youth to show them how certain subjects that a lot of kids don't really care for, how important they are to being a firefighter."
"A Backdrop to Tell the Tales of Good People Doing Good Work"
Paul Schneider's love for the County of Los Angeles Fire Museum and its collection is apparent. In addition to his full-time job with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, he devotes much of his personal time to the museum. Explaining the significance of the its antique fire apparatus collection, he says, "All this stuff is neat. We love all the mechanical aspects of everything and the history of these pieces of equipment, but they really are nothing more than steel and brass and chrome and nickle. They are just the backdrop to tell the tales of good people doing great work."
For more information about the County of Los Angeles Fire Museum, including operating hours and how to become a member of the County of Los Angeles Fire Museum Association, visit LACountyFireMuseum.com.
Author:Barbara Brooks - FDNNTV.com
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