Oklahoma Firefighters Museum

Another hidden gem of a museum that we discovered in Oklahoma City is the Oklahoma Firefighters Museum. The small museum is bursting at the seams with a wonderful display of equipment.  Retired firefighters volunteer at the museum, and they are an excellent resource for discussing the equipment on display.

There is a nice tribute to the firefighters that responded to the Oklahoma City Bombing, including patches from the departments that assisted in the recovery efforts.

P1010622

There is a small tribute to “America’s First Fireman” Benjamin Franklin. In 1736, he created a volunteer fire department in Philadelphia.  Volunteers supplied their own buckets.

P1010675

The museum has a display of firefighting equipment over the years, starting with several hand drawn pieces of equipment.  As “prehistoric” as these trucks look, they were a technological advancement over firefighters carrying buckets of water to fight a fire.  This is the 1870 New Richmond Hunneman Hand Pumper.  It was a Class A Pumper that required 24 men to operate it at full capacity.  The hose was rolled up and stored on the attached rear cart.

P1010629

Thanks to a wonderful volunteer, Dan was able to demonstrate how a firefighter pushed the truck to a fire.  The Hunneman pumper is named after William Cooper Hunneman, an apprentice of Paul Revere, who designed the pumper truck.

P1010638

This was a hand drawn ladder truck.

P1010649

The next generation of technology was the horse-drawn equipment.  Two horses would stand near the steamer, and the harnesses would drop down onto the horses when the fire alarm went off.

P1010665

Here is a close-up of the Steamer that was in service until 1925.  It could pump 300 gallons per minute.

P1010661

Notice the above truck is red.  There is also another horse-drawn vehicle on display, a white carriage.  This is the vehicle used by the Fire Chief.  It is smaller, so he could get to the fire scene quickly.

P1010669

The advent of the horse-drawn firefighting equipment is when the Dalmatian became the mascot of firefighters. Horse thievery was a problem, and Dalmatians were used in fire houses to protect the horses and guard the fire station.  Dalmatians adapted well to being around horses, and when the alarm went off, they led the way of the horse drawn cart, and fended off other dogs and animals that would try to approach the horses.

Horses were eventually replaced by motorized equipment.  This is a 1928 Chevrolet Chemical Hose Truck, used by Fort Cobb, Oklahoma until 1941.

P1010671

This is a 1940 American LaFrance 85 foot ladder truck, used by the Enid Fire Department.

P1010697

A 1920 Stutz engine was used in Virginia.

P1010707

This is a 1919 Seagrave Pumper used by the Guthrie Fire Department.

P1010696

The walls are covered by an extensive collection of patches from fire departments.

P1010680

Outside, there is a memorial to the fallen Oklahoma firefighters.

P1010742

 

The museum is hoping to raise enough money to build a bigger building, which will offer an even better experience for visitors. We salute all fire fighters and first responders who put their lives on the line everyday to protect us and help us in our greatest hour of need.

This will be my last post on Oklahoma City.  We certainly enjoyed our visit to the area, and left many things to see and do in the future.  The city was a wonderful surprise to us, and we will be back!

 

Quote for the Day:  “People are always asking me how it is that firefighters run into a burning building when everyone else is running out.  Courage is the answer.” – Chief Kennedy in Ladder 49

 

2 thoughts on “Oklahoma Firefighters Museum

  1. Very interesting!!!! Are you heading back to Wisconsin now? We arrived home late last Monday. We have had 90 degrees and humid early in the week and last night it froze……..guess it’s called Wisconsin!!!!! We are actually very dry even after the dump of all the snow in late April. Hoping for some rain but not on m y golf day!!!! I think I mentioned our JL’s Tailgate to you????Sept. 30? Hope you will still be around!!!!! Miss ya”s!!!! 😊💁‍♀️ MJ

    >

    • We are currently in WY for the summer. Made a quick visit to WI when they had the blizzard….yuck. I’ll send you an email about the game.

      >

We would love to hear from you! Please feel free to comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s