A computer in the gallery provides access to the names and biographical information of almost 9,000 American firefighters who have died in the line of duty since 1800.]]>
American firefighters who have died in the line of duty since 1981 are honored on the walls of the gallery.]]>
At left is the memorial for the firefighters and police officers who were killed in the collapse of the twin towers in September 2001. At right is a view of the recognition area for American firefighters who have been recognized for acts of heroism.]]>
At left is a manikin equipped as a member of the Payson, Arizona Hotshot crew. The manikin at the right is equipped with a smokejumper suit, helmet, packs and chutes donated by the Smokejumper Center of Missoula, Montana. Common wildland firefighting tools on the panel were donated by the California Department of Fire Protection. In the center is a deployed emergency shelter donated by Rural Metro Fire Department.]]>
To the right of the cabin is a panel displaying important wildfire fighting tools: chainsaw, drip can, bladders, a hose clamp, a rescue shelter, and a meal ready to eat (MRE) package.]]>
The Moreland Truck Company of Burbank, California supplied the Los Angeles Division of Forestry with the chassis of one of their three ton trucks in 1930. Moreland was the largest truck maker west of the Mississippi, and supplied a considerable number of trucks to California fire departments. The Division of Forestry designed its own brush truck, installing a 100 gallon per minute pump that could be operated while the truck was in forward motion, a key requirement for a brush truck. The Division also installed a 600 gallon water tank, a pair of booster lines, and several hundred feet of one inch cotton hose. Four hard suctions allow the tank to be refilled from a hydrant or other water source. The paint scheme of light and dark green was quite striking. The Division used the truck to fight many brush fires in Los Angeles County. During World War II the Division was made a part of the LA County Fire Department and the truck was painted red. Gene Autry found the truck years after LA County had abandoned it. Gene donated it to the Hall of Flame in 1989, and Don Hale did an excellent restoration. It is now on exhibit in the Hall of Flame’s Wildland Firefighting gallery.]]>
The town of Staunton, Virginia maintained this rig in its original condition. It was a very advanced design — America’s first entirely hydraulically powered aerial with a metal ladder and hydraulic outriggers. It also had Seagrave’s powerful 250 horsepower V-12 engine. It’s 80 gallon booster tank with a small pump gave it some quick response capability at a fire. Like the 1937 Pirsch aerial, this rig has survived with its original paint and decoration. The only refurbishment by the Hall of Flame was the re-upholstery of its driver / officer seat.]]>
The Pirsch Fire Apparatus Company of Kenosha, Wisconsin was one of America’s premier builders of fire equipment. Together with Mack, Pirsch introduced in 1931 the first aerial truck to use hydraulic and mechanical power to raise, extend, and turn its aerial ladder. Until its introduction, aerial trucks used the “spring assist” design or relied on an unwieldy system built around compressed air or water pressure from a hydrant. The introduction of hydraulic pumps to lift the aerial into position was one of the most important innovations in fire fighting technology. The modern American fire service uses hydraulic pumps to power its aerial ladders, tower ladders, squirt units, outriggers, searchlight towers, and a wide variety of other devices.
This truck, built in 1937 for Pirsch’s home town, uses a mixture of hydraulic and mechanical equipment to operate its 85 foot ladder. Its ladder is made from single lengths of clear grained Douglas Fir from the forests of western Oregon. Wood of this quality was very difficult to obtain, but was critical to the strength and durability of the ladder. Steel rods spanning vertical posts provide a truss to provide additional strength and rigidity.
The “stick” and its truss can be compared to a bridge that is raised into the air instead of spanning a stream or gulley. Like many aerials, this one also has a “Ladder Pipe” mounted at the ladder’s tip to play water on a fire. The paint and decorations are original. It is rare for a piece of apparatus to survive in such excellent condition after 30 years of active service in a large town in a cold, wet area where road salt is used.
This rig was built for the village of River Forest, Illinois. Fox called it a “Quad” because it had four capabilities: a large (1000 gpm) pump; a 100 gallon water storage tank and small diameter “booster” hose for quick attack; over 200 linear feet of ground ladders; and storage for over 1000 feet of large diameter hose. Standard fire engines were typically “Triples”- they lacked the ability to carry more than a pair of small ladders. Quads supposedly filled the need for an aerial ladder truck, being able to attack the fire with its pump and to provide ladders for rescue and ventilation.
In practice quads proved to be good pumpers but mediocre to poor ladder trucks. This “Quad” served River Forest well until the 1960s, when the town donated the piece to the Hall of Flame.
Since the 1970s the Quad has carried the directors of the Fiesta Bowl in its annual parade through downtown Phoenix. It was restored to its original condition in 1993 by Don Hale.
The volunteers of Baldwin, New York put this Model 700 aerial truck into service in their Long island town in 1955. Twenty years later they sold it to the town of Lynnfield, Massachusetts. In 2000 the town of Lynnfield donated the truck to the Hall of Flame. Its 45 years of front line service is a testimony to the quality of its design and construction. The truck was designed for a volunteer department, so it has a number of compartments for each firefighter’s helmet and equipment. The truck would often be driven to a fire with just a few of its crew, with the remainder joining the truck at the scene, donning their turnouts, and going into action. Its 75 foot aerial extension ladder could be put into action very quickly. The ladder, or “stick” could be used to gain access to upper stories or a roof for ventilation and rescue. It’s “ladder pipe” could also be connected to a 2 ½” hose and used to play large quantities of water from high above the ground.
It carried a wide range of accessories, including a generator to provide electricity for power saws and a positive pressure fan/smoke ejector, and a wide variety of extrication tools, axes, and pike poles. It had a compartment for the canister equipped breathing masks that were popular until the 1960s, when the far more capable self contained breathing apparatus took their place. During the 1990s the Lynnfield Fire Department replaced the rig’s original gasoline engine and manual transmission with a powerful diesel engine and automatic transmission. This improvement made driving the rig much easier and increased its top speed from about 45 mph to well over 60 mph.