This month marks a very special time in the history of the African American Firefighter Museum’s (Museum) history. Twenty years ago, we opened our doors to the public for the purpose of collecting, conserving and sharing the history of African American firefighters in Los Angeles. We are genuinely humbled by this extraordinary occasion and share it with those who made this possible.
The Museum’s Board of Directors and Advisory Council extends our heartfelt thanks to each and every volunteer, Board member, donor, docent, visitor, consultant, and government official whose engagement over the past two decades allowed us to reach this incredible milestone. On this day we also recognize the many organizations whose support and partnership lifted us up for twenty years, including the great City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles City Fire Department, Los Angeles County Fire Department, Coca Cola Corporation, Firefighters First Credit Union, Fire Family Foundation, Annenberg Foundation, American Alliance of Museums, Institute of Library and Museum Services, Los Angeles Retired Fire and Police Association and so many more.
Most importantly, today we celebrate and acknowledge those whose service we honor here at Old Fire Station 30, including the Old Stentorians and the brave men and women who have faithfully served the City of Los Angeles for 125 years. We have witnessed many incredible events over these 20 years, including the selection of three African American Fire Chiefs for the Los Angeles Fire Department, the selection of the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s first African American Fire Chief, and the promotion of the first two African American female Battalion Chiefs in both LA City and LA County Fire Departments.
It’s a month of celebration and reflection but, as always, we continue our work, mindful that those who came before us gave their best, and deserve ours.
David L. Spence
President, African American Firefighter Museum