• 17701 Creamery Road, Emmitsburg, Maryland 21727
  • (210) 380-8364
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Preserving the Perishable: A Fire History Picture is Worth More Than a Thousand Words

In this edition of Preserving the Perishable, I thought I would explain the do's and don'ts of photograph preservation briefly. As a historian and a genealogist, I frequently see the results of improper photograph archiving and how it destroys the precious history that we treasure. I remember, at the passing of my grandparents, shoe boxes and album...
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Media Advisory: Membership

The value of historical documents for research can be seen in one of the oldest artifacts in the National Fire Heritage Center archives. Pictured is a newspaper story in a Dutch newspaper published in 1684, that shows the state of building technology in contrast to the evolution of fire protection technology. The illustrated picture of a 4-sto...
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Preserving the Perishable: What is Considered Historically Significant?

During a recent zoom meeting, the participants, including myself, shared stories of historically significant items being discarded by fire departments. Often, it's personnel unfamiliar with the fire service's history and in a well-meaning attempt to do their part in cleaning up the station, they begin to discard things into the dumpster. They may n...
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National Fire Heritage Center Newsletter: September 2020

Six firemen fell to their deaths as the blazing roof of a Brooklyn supermarket collapsed yesterday morning. It was the worst accident involving the city's firefighters in a dozen years. As the roof suddenly erupted in a burst of flames, dropping men into the center of the fire, a handful of other firemen —members of the first ladder companies to re...
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Press Release: Mary Tabata Joins the National Fire Heritage Center Board of Trustees

Mary Tabata is a Ph.D. candidate in Organizational Leadership at Eastern University in St. Davids, PA. She is a Human Potential Catalyst and Teaching Academic in Leadership at Ducere Global Business School and has also taught as an adjunct professor of Organizational and Management Theory at Pepperdine University in Los Angeles, California. Mary wo...
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Preserving the Perishable: A Fire Historian’s Never Ending Battle

As a member of the fire service community, so many of us tend to naturally become collectors. Whether it be books, toys, models, hose appliances, or even up to and including antique apparatus, the fire service offers a little something for everyone. If you aren't a collector of something, I would venture a guess you just haven't been around the fir...
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Fire Chief Alan V. Brunacini: American Fire Service Pioneer

Chief Alan V. Brunacini is one of the most highly respected figures in the fire and emergency services. He was born in Jamestown, NY, on April 18, 1937, to John N. and Mary T. Brunacini. The Brunacini family moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the early '40s, where Alan attended school and graduated in 1955 from Highland High School. With some amb...
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Beta Test: Benjamin Franklin Writer's Award

About the Award: Established to preserve the history of America's fire services, the National Fire Heritage Center recognizes that authors of books, magazines, newsletters, and a variety of media are key preservers of America's fire service history. Their stories keep alive the events and people who might otherwise have been lost through generation...
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Press Release: Deborah Wintner Joins the National Fire Heritage Center Board of Trustees

Deborah K. Wintner joined STANLEY Security, a division of Stanley Black & Decker, as Vice President of Human Resources in May of 2018, where she has devoted her time establishing HR strategy and organizational capability in alignment with the business strategy. Deborah received a Master of Science degree in Organizational Development from Peppe...
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Harold Mace: Emeritus Director of Fire Protection Publications and Fire Service Training

Mr. Mace was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on May 23, 1939. He was raised on a farm in what is now the general area of the I-35/I-44 highway interchange in north Oklahoma City. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in Education from Central State University, now known as the University of Central Oklahoma. Upon graduating from college, he ...
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Press Release: Ben May Joins the National Fire Heritage Center Board of Trustees

Ben May is a Board Director of the Center for Public Safety Excellence, and recently retired Global Director of Corporate Alliances for the Walt Disney Company. He worked with Disney to create seven figure, interactive, social marketing experiences dedicated to the betterment of society- specifically fire protection and prevention-as well internati...
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Press Release: Dr. Carey D. Waddell Joins the National Fire Heritage Center Board of Trustees

Dr. Waddell is currently serving as the U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay F&ES Deputy Fire Chief, possessing 28 years of experience in the fire service. During an adventurous career, he has served in every rank within the fire service. After completing four years in the United States Air Force, he started a civil service career at Fort Bliss, T...
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Press Release: FDNY Deputy Chief Thomas Dunne Book Donation

Thomas Dunne is a retired Deputy Chief and 33-year veteran of the New York City Fire Department. He recently published a book about his experiences in the FDNY. Deputy Chief Dunne was with the FDNY from 1981 to 2015 and he experienced numerous historical incidents including the Happy Lands Social Club fire in the Bronx and the 9/11 terror...
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Press Release: Ernst Piercy Joins the National Fire Heritage Center Board of Trustees

    Former Air Force Academy Chief Ernst Piercy has been named to the Board of Trustees for the National Fire Heritage Center Ernst is a retired fire chief, with more than 35 years in the fire service. Most recently, he served as the Regional Fire Chief for Navy Region Southwest in San Diego, California. Previously, he...
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Nomination Instructions: The Hall of Legends, Legacies and Leaders: Class of 2021

Background The National Fire Heritage Center Board of Directors has opened nominations for the Fire and Emergency Services Hall of Legends, Legacies and Leaders (HLLL). Nominations will be accepted from June 15, 2020, through August 15, 2020. The HLLL provides individual recognition of significant contributions and distinguished service to the Fire...
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The National Fire Heritage Center Volunteer Recruitment

The National Fire Heritage Center is currently recruiting volunteers for various historical preservation projects Are you a High school or College student seeking an internship or externship opportunity?Are you a college student in a library science program?Are you a graduate student working on a thesis paper or project?Are you a doctoral student w...
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Fire Chief Ronny J. Coleman: American Fire Service Pioneer

Cover Photo: Christopher Baker, Member of the Board of Directors, Public Information Officer (Left) and Immediate Past President Fire Chief Ronny J. Coleman (Right) at the 2018 National Fire Heritage Center Annual Meeting in Emmitsburg, MD. Ronny J. Coleman is a retired Fire Chief, California State Fire Marshal, and Deputy Director o...
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Press Release: Mark Lamplugh Joins the National Fire Heritage Center Board of Trustees

Cover Photo: Curt Weldon former Congressman (left) with Mark Lamplugh (right) The National Fire Heritage Center is the result of a study done by the U.S. Fire Administration, where it identified that a "need to collect, preserve, and provide access to the historical records of the fire service/fire protection disciplines in the ...
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The History of Benjamin Franklin: Founder of The Union Fire Company

Cover Photo: Eric Okdeh  Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by John Bigelow  This fire company was formed Dec. 7, 1736.  It was designed primarily for the security of property of its members, though they did not limit their usefulness to their own members when their property was not in danger.  The Union Fire Company was in...
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Heritage Hall: A Common History for the Fire Service/Fire Protection Disciplines

In July 2005, a group of individuals gathered in Frederick, Maryland to discuss a concept that had been in the incipient stage for years. Retired California State Fire Marshal Ronny J. Coleman who had been elected as a chair of a planning committee, brought the group together for the primary reason of determining what future course of action could ...
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Contact Info

  • The National Fire Heritage Center
  • Address: 17701 Creamery Road  Emmitsburg, Maryland 21727
  • Phone: (210) 380-8364
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.