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Author: davidb

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.

Author: davidb

Remembering a Marine

Being a member of the United States Marines is considered a special opportunity. Not only do Marines pave the way strategically, but they are about more than combat. As with all service branches, the Marines are about service.

Marine Captain Matthew P. Manoukian was raised in a family committed to service. His uncle, William Bamattre, was the Fire Chief for the Los Angeles Fire Department for 11 years. His commitment to service saw him deployed on multiple occasions to Iraq and then Afghanistan. As his uncle said, he was there to "provide confidence to locals who were being intimidated by various factions..." A black belt, with two Purple Hearts, two Navy-Marine Corps Commandation Medals and two Combat Action Ribbons, Manoukian thought law would be a good post-military career.

On August 10, while working to train others, Manoukian and two other Marines were killed by a renegade Afghan police officer. He was 29 years old.

There are many Manoukian's out there. They are sons, daughters, nephews, nieces. They are fathers, uncles, aunts, and just "good friends." They serve their country without political party. They serve to protect the United States - and we owe them our thanks and our hearts. They keep us safe, and for that, they give their lives.


"The man who will go where his colors go without asking, who will fight a phantom foe in a jungle or a mountain range, and who will suffer and die; in the midst of incredible hardship, without complaint, is still what he has always been, from Imperial Rome to sceptered Britain to democratic America. He is the stuff of which legends are made. His pride is his colors and his regiment, his training hard and thorough and coldly realistic, to fit him for what he must face, and his obedience is to his orders. As a legionnaire, he held the gates of civilization for the classical he is called United States Marine."
LT COL FEHRENBACH, USA, in "This Kind of War"

Why We Remember...

Today is the day we remember those Los Angeles Firefighters who gave their lives so that others might live. On occasion, someone will ask why we do this? After all, these aren't soldiers fighting to protect freedom. These are firefighters - we see them nearly every day. So, why do we need a day to remember them?

Your Los Angeles Fire Department is more than 125 years old now. And during that period of time, the Department has saved the lives of thousands of people in and around Los Angeles. Often, the people saved have suffered a stroke, been hit by a bus, or have collapsed due to a heart attack. In Los Angeles, with more than 1,000 emergency responses per day, and more than 500 transports to local hospitals in an average 24-hour period, you might think the process of saving lives is routine. It may seem that way, but it isn't.

For people watching the freeway rescue taking place on March 23, 1998, it seemed that Fire 3, the air ambulance that picked up a young patient was just doing what it normally did. Minutes later, the helicopter crashed, within minutes of its destination. The young patient, along with LAFD members Michael McComb, Eric Reiner, and Michael Butler were killed. Not an ordinary day.

When the Naval Reserve Training Center's attic was discovered to be fully involved with fire on September 27, 1980, the fire attack initiated by the LAFD seemed to be managed with the military precision that the Department is known for. When firefighter Frank Hotchkin stepped onto the roof to provide support, it collapsed, sending young Hotchkin to his death. Not an ordinary day.

The stories continue - and there are nearly 200 of them. Each one is personal. Each one involves a parent, a sibling, a friend, and co-workers. On February 18, 2011, firefighters responded to a structure fire in the Hollywood Hills. After a few minutes, the living area of the home appeared to be clear of smoke, and the size up suggested a stubborn fire might be in one of the walls. Without warning, the ceiling collapsed, burying firefighters in the rubble, and mortally wounding Glen Allen. To many watching, it was just another routine fire on an ordinary day. It was not an ordinary day for the LAFD.

Every October, the LAFD gathers in Hollywood, at the Fallen Firefighter Memorial outside of the LAFD Museum. Fire officials speak. Historians remember. Taps are played. Bells are rung and names are read. And we remember. We remember that every day is a special day for the people who live in Los Angeles. The weather is nearly always perfect. The ocean is close by. The clubs are filled with party-goers. The film industry cranks out blockbusters. And the LAFD responds - every day, 24/7/365. And every one of its 3,400+ members wears a badge that reads "LAFD." That badge represents a commitment - a commitment to give up their life at any time to protect lives and property. That's why we remember.

Learn more about those members who died in the line of duty. [ Learn More ]

Support the LAFD Museum and Memorial. Give Generously. [ Donate ]

The Museum and Memorial Plaza are open every weekend from 10A to 4P in Hollywood. Please visit and discover the remarkable history of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

"LAFD Heroes" video produced by David and Cameron Barrett. Used with the courtesy of the LAFD Foundation.

Early origins of LAFD EMS

Today, the LAFD responds to more than 920 Emergency Medical Service (EMS) calls per day. More than 500 people are transported to LA hospitals in every 24-hour shift period. EMS calls make up an average of 85% of the Departments responses.

In the early days, the LAFD used ambulances to primarily take care of injured firemen. Let's take a look back in time and see what the LAFD medical response capability was like...

Your Fire Department in Action!

Your Fire Department was developed by the LAFD to highlight activities and training within the Department. AT the time these films were produced, the LAFD had an active film unit, including the late Frank Manwarren, who was a treasured member of the LAFD Historical Society for many years.

Take a look at this example of the series in action!

Have you seen our Flickr photos?

The LAFDHS Flickr photo libraryOne of the most important aspects of recording history is photographs. The Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Society has literally thousands of photographs that document the long, storied history of the LAFD. And now, for the first time, we're publishing a number of those photographs via Flickr.

This new addition to the LAFD Museum ecosystem highlights our activities, the Hollywood and Harbor museums, Photo Archive, and the restoration of Fire Boat 2, the Ralph J. Scott to museum status in San Pedro California.

To visit the Flickr photo library: click here!

Check back often. There will be many exciting images to view!

50 Years Later - We Remember the Bel Air Disaster

Bel Air Fire
On November 6th, 1961, the City of Los Angeles experienced the worst fire in the history of the city - to that point in time. The Bel Air Fire destroyed nearly 500 homes, and it was a miracle that nobody died as a result of the wind-driven flames.

As the November winds begin to pick up this week, we encourage you to check out this important reminder of how quickly a wildfire can destroy a neighborhood, even in today's modern world.

Read our story: Remembering the Bel Air Fire of 1961

Visit our store!

There's only one place in Los Angeles to purchase all of those great LAFD memorabilia: The LAFD Museum! That's right - only at our gift shop will you find authentic LAFD work tee shirts, jackets, and other clothing. In addition, the gift shop has a wide variety of books, videos, models, stickers, and other items directly related to firefighting in Los Angeles.

So, next Saturday, cram the family into your SUV or Mini Cooper (just sayin' large or small!) and head over to the Hollywood Museum. The gift shop is open from 10AM until 4PM, and the friendly staff is ready to share the latest arrivals with you.

"125 Year Book" has arrived!

Not since the 100 year anniversary has a book about the history of the LAFD been published. Now, in collaboration with Faircourt Media Group, a new 125 year softcover book at the LAFD is finally available.

The book provides an interesting look at the history of the Department, as well as a historian perspective on the LAFD today. The LAFD is unique in that it operates on Land, Sea and in the Air, and this book takes a close look at the historic operations of the Department, including major incidents.

This book was a labor of love and those who contributed have a long history with the Department. The LAFD Historical Society's Ted Aquaro, Frank Borden, and Donald Dodd were editorial contributors, and Director of Operations Frank Borden compiled the materials. Additional support from the LAFD and the Los Angeles Fireman's Relief Association was provided by Brian Humphrey (PSO, B-Platoon), and Eric H. Seeger. A number of individuals contributed photographs and illustrations. To learn more about this new publication, please visit either museum facility.

Calling all volunteers!

Have you ever wanted to work in a fire station? Well, now is your chance. Old Fire Station 27 is as close to a real fire station as it gets - because for more than half a century, it was a real fire station! Situated in the heart of Hollywood, the now retired station is home to the Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Society.

And, as with any fire station, there is a lot to do... Every week, our team is busy polishing apparatus, authentic brass fire poles, and visiting with people of all ages from all around the world who come to admire and learn about the history of firefighting in Los Angeles.

If you'd like to be part of our volunteer team, we'd love to have you!

[ click here to learn more about volunteering ]

We mourn the loss of Firefighter Glenn L. Allen

Glenn L. Allen, LAFDGlenn L. Allen, a firefighter with the City of Los Angeles, died today following injuries sustained while fighting a structure fire in the Hollywood Hills on Wednesday, February 16, 2011. Firefighter Allen had 36 years of service with the department, the last 17 at Fire Station 97.

Firefighter Allen was involved in interior fire attack with several other companies when the ceiling of the structure collapsed under the weight of a broken fire sprinkler line (tentative assessment) that filled the attic area with water. Fellow firefighters used circular saws and other tools to effect an extrication of FF Allen, who was non responsive and in full cardiac arrest when removed from the occupancy. LAFD Paramedics were successful in restoring vitals and rushed the gravely injured firefighter to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. After a two-day battle, firefighter Allen died with his family at his bedside.

At a news conference conduced this afternoon at Fire Station 3, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa expressed the sadness felt across the city. "Today, I join all Angelenos in mourning the loss of firefighter Glenn Allen, a fearlessly committed firefighter who dedicated ... years of his life to protecting the people of Los Angeles," he said.

"Glenn was a valiant hero whose selfless sacrifice will forever be honored. This tragedy serves as a somber, yet powerful reminder that the brave men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department put their lives on the line each and every day to keep us safe from harm. My thoughts and prayers are with the family of firefighter Allen and his extended family of firefighters at LAFD."

Fire Chief Millage Peaks, who spent considerable time at the hospital and with Allen's family, was visibly moved, saying, "his daughter was at his side when he died. She is expecting her first child in just a few days."

In addition to the Fire Chief's message, the LAFD expressed gratitude at the support received from the public, saying, "The Allen Family and the Los Angeles Fire Department has received a tremendous outpouring of support during this difficult time. Your Firefighters wish to thank you and express our deepest appreciation for all the kind words and gestures that have been provided."

The last LAFD firefighter to be killed in the line of duty was 35-year-old Brent Lovrien, a 10-year department veteran, in March 2008.

A funeral is tentatively scheduled for Friday, February 25th. For additional details, please visit the LAFD website at:

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