About the National Fire Heritage Center

The National Fire Heritage Center (NFHC) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization working to preserve the written history of “fire in America.” We support individuals, fire departments, libraries, museums and others who wish to collect, catalog and preserve fire-related writings.

NFHC leadership: Executive Officers, Board of Directors, Trustees and key personnel

Read the 2018-2019 National Fire Heritage Center Annual Report

Download the September 2019 Newsletter (PDF 3 MB)

About our collection

The NFHC is both a fire history archive and a documentation preservation project. Our collection of over 15,000 cataloged items consists of written documents and three-dimensional items donated by the public and private sectors. Materials are cataloged, preserved and made available to NFHC visitors and online researchers.

Contribute collection items

Why our work is important

Gaining access to historical fire-related writings can be hard. Prior to the establishment of the NFHC in 2005, there was no centralized, coordinated archival activity in the United States to ensure that important fire materials were saved in an accessible way. Much of the written history of “fire in America” was challenging to locate or, unfortunately, forever lost. Historical documentation that did exist was held in private collections where access was difficult or materials were not properly preserved.

Heritage Hall: A Common History for the Fire Service/Fire Protection Disciplines

Read about the origins of the National Fire Heritage Center in this 2003 report.

Download the report (PDF 8 MB)

The NFHC has changed all of that. Today, our organization works to assure the collection and proper preservation of these historical materials and that access is available to all who wish to know the story of “fire in America.”

Help preserve the written history of the American fire service.

Donate or Join us!

Where we’re located

The NFHC is co-located with the Emmitsburg Ambulance Company in Emmitsburg, Maryland, within walking distance of the National Emergency Training Center.

Contact us