Email page Print page

LAFDHS Blog

Museum Info

Hollywood Museum

1355 N. Caheunga Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 464 - 2727
SAT 10a - 4p

Harbor Museum

638 Beacon Street
San Pedro, CA 90731
(323) 464 - 2727
SAT 10a - 3p

Off-hour tours available
by special request.

LAFDHS Blog

A bit of video history

The Los Angeles Fire Department has a photo/video unit and in days past, had a "film unit" to record major incidents, press events, and training for department use. On occasion, either working internally or with outside production companies, promotional or documentary videos would be produced.

In the time period of the late 1940s through the late 1950s, a documentary film, titled, Your Fire Department, was produced. There is little available information on this film, but it is a wonderful overview of the LAFD during this time period. The Historical Society is doing some research regarding this film - and welcomes any input or commentary about it.

Screen Grab of 1948 Film
This film in interesting for a number of reasons, including the use of color in an era when black and white was most commonly used. Fire Station 27 (now the home of the LAFD museum in Hollywood), is featured in multiple places and apparatus no longer housed there are shown (utility company, salvage company, etc.). The Gorter Water Tower, now on display in the Hollywood museum is shown in action, as are a variety of interesting apparatus that if found today, would be extremely valuable. LAFD Fire Boats are painted in wartime gull-gray, another interesting hint regarding the time of production. Active Firefighters will get a kick out of the techniques used "back in the day" and it's clear that times have changed!

There have been many films highlighting the LAFD during its history. Terry Sanders produced "The Story of a Fireman" in 1962 and today, a new documentary on the history of the department is in production, with the support of the Historical Society.

The video posted on Google appears to have been uploaded from Europe, and attempts to contact the publisher have not been met with a response. If you have information regarding Your Fire Department, we'd love to hear from you. NOTE: Only Part II is available via the link above. You can see the entire video at the LAFD Museum in Hollywood.

Special thanks to Captain I (9-B) Tim Werle for discovering this video.

Have you visted a fire station?

Do you remember the first fire station that you visited? Do you remember how old you were?

Each fire station in the city carries a remarkable history, and some of the buildings that housed our firefighters have a second life, such as Old Fire Station 28 in downtown Los Angeles. Built at a cost of $60,000, It opened in 1913 and and served the downtown area until 1969. The building was at risk for more than a decade. In 1983, a five-year program to restore the building began, and today, it houses a very hip restaurant - if you're ever in downtown Los Angeles and you get hungry, you've got to check it out.

LAFD Fire Station 28

LAFD Station 28 Prior to Becoming a Restaurant - Photo by Julius Shulman (1980)

The history of fire stations in Los Angeles is interesting not only for anyone interested in the LAFD, but in architecture, local neighborhoods, and general L.A. history. Fire stations were originally filled with apparatus and horses, and as mechanized engines came online, the style of construction changed. It also changed with the times and there are some remarkable buildings in L.A. that were once fire stations. For that matter, there are a few that still are.

Today, the Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Society operates two museums, both old fire stations. Old Station 27, in Hollywood, is one of the most widely recognized fire stations in the country and has been used in numerous films, television series, and training programs. Old Station 36 in San Pedro is in a historic building near the waterfront. Next to Old 27s, a new active Fire Station 27 responds to more than a dozen calls a day. In the Harbor area, a new Fire Station 36 opened recently and serves the San Pedro area.

Welcome!!!

Welcome to the Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Society's blog. Our blog is part of our completely redesigned website. Expect to read a wide variety of news, opinion, and editorial about the history of the Los Angeles Fire Department and the city she serves.

This is an exciting time for the LAFDHS and the museum and memorial. The Memorial Plaza was completed just this month - after more than four years of planning, fund-raising, and construction. There are some remaining small areas that require minute detail work, but the overall plaza is complete and it's ready for use.

We'll celebrate the completion of the plaza with a ribbon-cutting and Open House on August 17, beginning at 11AM. We hope you can join us for a terrific afternoon of music, tours, fire engine rides, and much more.

This summer is also the kick off for our first formal fund-raising program, Firing Up Our Future. Those most at risk relative to injury or death from fire or accident include our kids and our seniors. Our $3 million dollar campaign is designed to develop and deliver a range of education and preservation programs that will benefit the community and all of our fellow citizens, young and not so young.

We welcome your thoughts, comments, and suggestions regarding everything related to the LAFDHS, including our Fallen Firefighter Memorial, our two museums (Hollywood and San Pedro), and Old Fireboat No. 2, the Ralph J. Scott. Tell us what you think, and don't forget we're always interested in meeting new friends, as well as greeting old ones. So, stop by on any Saturday from 10AM through 4PM.

Newer Posts