Hall of Flame

Museum of Firefighting


National Firefighting Hall of Heroes


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The National Firefighting Hall of Heroes opened to the public in 1998.    It  has three goals: r the Hall of Flame -- an exhibit that deals with the people who make up   l of the other exhibits describe the equipment used by firefighters.  The 3,500 square foot exhibit has three major purposes:


To describe the American volunteer and career firefighter, including urban, rural, and wildland branches of the fire service.


To recognize American firefighters who have been decorated for acts of valor.


To recognize American firefighters who have died in the line of duty.


A number of cities, states and other organizations recognize firefighters who have died in the line of duty.

They are generally restricted to firefighters from that area, or firefighters who were members of the International Association of Firefighters, or are limited to firefighters who have died since a fairly recent date. 

A number of organizations also recognize firefighters who have been decorated for bravery, but again have regional restrictions.

Those organizations that provide national awards have no mechanism for recognition beyond the first year of the award.

In our National Firefighting Hall of Heroes exhibit we hope to remedy these deficiencies.

Museum President George Getz, his wife Dyan, and two of his children, Allison and Chip, welcome Senator McCain at the dedication of the National Firefighting Hall of Heroes in October of 1998. Executive Director Peter Molloy and Museum President George Getz listen to Senator John McCain's remarks as he dedicates the National Firefighting Hall of Heroes.


American Firefighters who have died in the line of duty since 1981 (the first year in which national records were kept) are recognized on the walls of the Hall of Heroes.

Recipients of awards for heroism are displayed on the free standing panels and the walls of the gallery.


In December 2001 a special exhibit, including names, companies, and photographs of the 343 FDNY firefighters who died in the line of duty was opened in the Hall of Heroes.

Also on the walls of the gallery are the names and photos of the New York City Police Department officers and the Port Authority officers who were killed on 9-11.

On September 9, 2004 we dedicated a beautiful addition to the Hall of Heroes -  a full size beautifully decorated model of a quarter horse honoring the firefighters and policemen who died in the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001.  

The horse was donated to the Hall of Flame by a public arts project called The Trail of Painted Ponies.  The group has an extensive web site at www.trailofpaintedponies.com  For additional information click here.  

The horse, 9 feet high and 8 feet long, is shown above.  



We have created a database of firefighters who have been recognized for bravery, both locally and nationally. There are no time restrictions. 

We welcome the submission of firefighters, but of course require verification in the form of a citation, magazine or newspaper article, official correspondence, or related materials.  

The computer also contains the names of firefighters who have died in the line of duty, in all

periods and in all parts of the United States. 

We welcome the submission of names, with documentation similar to that for firefighters who have been decorated for heroism. Visitors to the Hall of Heroes are able to use the computer to call up the records of firefighters and to obtain printouts.  To date almost 9,000 firefighters are included in this database.

er of 1998 we opened a new gallery at the Hall of Flame. This gallery is a new kind                           

Above: An overall view of the National Firefighting Hall of Heroes

Exhibits in the Hall of Heroes also describe the social history of the American fire service. 

We discuss the origins of the American volunteer and career structural firefighters, why they were attracted to the fire service, and how they organized to fight fires. 

We also discuss the growth of the wildland fire fighting service in the United States.  

Wildland firefighting covers a broad spectrum of organizations, from urban fire departments to the specialists of the federal and state forestry departments. 

Most of the other exhibits at the Hall of Flame talk about the technology of firefighting. 

In the Hall of Heroes we talk about  the firefighters themselves.

A display of firefighting "turnouts" in 1940 and 2000.

Wildland and structural firefighting equipment vary radically.

Left: 1878 Silsby steam fire engine from Ocean City, NJ.

Center: Ca 1900 Pirsch chemical cart from Centerville, WI.

Right: Ca. 1890 Hose Wagon built by the Chicago FD and used in Chicago.

An operating alarm system occupies a portion of the gallery. 

The system includes (from the left) a battery charging control panel, an automatic alarm register, a street alarm box, a combined gong and number based indicator, and a custom alarm panel. 

All were made by the Gamewell Alarm Company and used around 1900 by the town of Watertown, Wisconsin.

Other exhibits discuss women in the fire service, training methods, and EMS

This 1878 Silsby second size steamer was used by the volunteers of Ocean City, New Jersey

Text panels and an exhibit case address the social history of American firefighters.

The Fire Department of New York City presented this ceremonial helmet frontispiece to the volunteers of New London, Connecticut in 1888.


If readers of this web site have suggestions or comments, please do so by sending an e-mail to Webmaster@hallofflame.org

If you wish to submit a firefighter for inclusion in the Hall of Heroes, please send the name and supporting materials to Dr. Peter Molloy at the museum's mailing address, 6101 East van Buren St., Phoenix, AZ 85008. 

You can also send these materials by e-mail, including Photos in JPEG format.


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