The Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting is the largest museum of firefighting memorabilia in the world. With expansive collections of firefighting equipment that chronicles the history of firefighting, this museum in the heart of Phoenix is well worth a visit for anyone with an interest in the area.
The museum, also known as the Hall of Flame Fire Museum, has apparatus dating back to 1725 and displays over 90 fully-restored pieces (as well as some 10,000 other smaller objects and collectible items) including antique fire trucks and fire extinguishers. With memorabilia running all the way up to 1969 visitors can really get a sense of how firefighting progressed.
Although most of the pieces are American the museum is also home to exhibits from England, Austria, Germany, Japan and France, showcasing firefighting history not only through the ages but also through the countries.
The primary aim of the museum is to educate visitors on firefighting history, but it also aspires to commemorate the lives of fallen firefighters. It does this by sponsoring the National Firefighter Hall of Heroes, honoring those that have lost their lives or who have been decorated for heroic acts of bravery.
Visitors are sure to be amazed at the diversity of equipment on display, and will be given a unique insight into its history. Indeed, it's a great place for current firefighters to learn about their heritage, with approximately 10% of all visitors being firemen or women themselves.
It isn't unusual to spend at least an hour browsing the various galleries, collections and exhibits, or even longer to really get a closer look. With so much to see and do visitors will be spoilt for choice, and the hands-on activities for children will be especially appealing.
As well as exhibits and galleries the museum is also home to a small theater which shows videos about the history of firefighting that run throughout the day, enabling people to go into even more depth. The library will also allow for greater exploration, with everything from books and photographs to trade journals and manuals. It also runs a number of education programs and workshops throughout the year, and certain galleries can even be rented for private functions or events providing a truly unique setting.
The museum is open throughout the year from 9am to 5pm Mondays to Saturdays and from noon until 4pm on Sundays. Admission rates are $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $4 for students between the ages of 6 and 17 and $1.50 for children aged between 3 and 5. Children under 3 get in for free, and group rates are $3 per person. The museum has plenty of free parking and is easily accessible from anywhere in Phoenix, being close to the Desert Botanical Gardens and Phoenix Zoo.
The Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting is a great place to go to be educated on the history of firefighting. It isn't the most well-known museum in the area but will truly be a treat for anyone who visits.