• P.O. Drawer 76, Emmitsburg, Maryland 21727
  • (301) 876-3454

Preserving the Perishable: Engaging the Future Generations of the Fire Service

If you are anything like the authors of this blog article, you did not start as a fire protection and firefighting history lover. It grew on you as you became more and more involved in the service. Soon you stumbled across a relic at a flea market or in someone's basement and a collector was born. Whether it be a toy fire truck (our personal f...
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Preserving the Perishable: Sharing the Stories of the Fallen

I recently had the opportunity to assist with our local September 11th memorial service. This was being included as part of a more significant annual history-based event in my hometown. As I began identifying speakers for the event, I realized that for the first time, I was approaching a whole generation that had no personal memory of the events th...
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Preserving the Perishable: Traditions of the Fire Service Shared through Oral Story Telling

It was 1986, on a warm summer night and I found myself on the front porch of my grandfather's home. I was then a new Fire Chief and my grandfather was a former Assistant Fire Chief. He was once again sharing those wild tales of firefighting in his time. Often he would tell me of that 1923 American LaFrance and how it performed on Chr...
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Preserving the Perishable: The Importance of Documenting History

Cover Photo: Krystyna Krakowski, far left, and her team at Palm Beach Gardens Fire Rescue. I remember attending a fire conference and the topic was Safety and Apparatus Response. A side discussion started regarding beating a first due company to their own call. The engineer joked that he carried business cards and said he would place them on t...
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Preserving the Perishable: A Fire History Picture is Worth More Than a Thousand Words

In this edition of Preserving the Perishable, I thought I would explain the do's and don'ts of photograph preservation briefly. As a historian and a genealogist, I frequently see the results of improper photograph archiving and how it destroys the precious history that we treasure. I remember, at the passing of my grandparents, shoe boxes and album...
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Preserving the Perishable: What is Considered Historically Significant?

During a recent zoom meeting, the participants, including myself, shared stories of historically significant items being discarded by fire departments. Often, it's personnel unfamiliar with the fire service's history and in a well-meaning attempt to do their part in cleaning up the station, they begin to discard things into the dumpster. They may n...
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Preserving the Perishable: A Fire Historian’s Never Ending Battle

As a member of the fire service community, so many of us tend to naturally become collectors. Whether it be books, toys, models, hose appliances, or even up to and including antique apparatus, the fire service offers a little something for everyone. If you aren't a collector of something, I would venture a guess you just haven't been around the fir...
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Contact Info

  • The National Fire Heritage Center
  • Physical Address: 17701 Creamery Road, Emmitsburg, Maryland 21727
    Mailing Address: P.O. Drawer 76, Emmitsburg, Maryland 21727
  • Phone: (301) 876-3454