The African American Firefighters Museum in Los Angeles is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and promotion the heritage of African American firefighters. It is housed in the historic fire station #30 one of just two stations in the city where African Americans were employed in the early 20th century. The museum displays authentic firefighting gear and equipment dating back to when the first fulltime black firefighters were hired in 1897. Exhibits include century-old fire wagons, vintage uniforms, badges, helmets, and photographs. One showcase documents the role of black female firefighters, too.
Of special note role of Sam Haskins, the earliest known African American to serve on the Los Angeles Fire Department. He was born a slave in Virginia, arrived in L.A. in 1880, and became a "Call Fireman" in 1892. It was a paid position, but it was part time. Haskins would fill in for firemen off sick or on vacation. He died in a tragic accident in 1895 and the city's first Engine Company composed of colored men was organized in his honor.
The African American Firefighters Museum is located across the street from the historic Coca Cola Building on South Central Avenue. Its hours of operation are from 10am to 2pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 1pm to 4pm on Sundays. The address is 1401 South Central Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90021-2607. Admission is free of charge.