• 17701 Creamery Road, Emmitsburg, Maryland 21727
  • (210) 380-8364
  • iThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Preserve the historical documents of the American fire service. Facilitate historical review and research to approaches and methods to save human life from destructive fires and mitigate fire losses in the future.


About Our Work.

The NFHC is a non-profit 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.

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Put your money where your mouth is


You have probably heard this old cliché before, "Put your money where your mouth is." The inference is that when you talk about a particular course of action, it doesn't make much difference how much talk you engage in unless you actually do something about it.

On the one hand, it is great to have vision and to be pursuing a course of action, but it is even greater if you actually do what you say you are going to do. While we have limited funds, we have had some incredible successes based on our commitment.

Way back when the NFHC was first created, we advocated that our building needed to be protected by automatic fire sprinklers. Guess what? It is now being protected as a result of a tremendous effort in our staff and the leadership of the automatic sprinkler industry.

Recently we had an open house to demonstrate this capability. The money in this case came from our sponsors. The NFHC can now honestly say that we are practicing what we preach (OK, that's the last cliché I am going to use in this column). Our building is fully sprinklered with a state-of-the-art sprinkler system that clearly fulfills our obligation to "Preserve the Perishable."

But, that is not the only achievement over the last several months. We planted a tree in memory of Jan Gratton, and we have received significant contributions for our library from IFSTA. Our list of accomplishments grows every day.

Our challenges remain as significant as they have in the past. Our capital needs which were identified in our first strategic plan remain unfulfilled. We have a pressing need to raise sufficient funds to expand our storage and filing capacity if we are to continue to
serve the fire service and as a brain trust for all of its allied professionals.

As you read the various stories in our newsletter, ask yourself this question:

What can you do that will help us achieve our major goal of capitalization of
our facilities?

It remains one of our major goals and simultaneously one of our major challenges.

In summary, we are becoming more and more successful in acquiring the body of knowledge that the fire protection industry desperately needs regarding its legacy. Simultaneously, we are facing severe challenges to be able to adequately store, archive and retrieve the same body of knowledge.

Ronny J. Coleman, President

Help "preserve the perishable"

Consider a donation to our Bookcase Campaign! The NFHC is in need of bookcases to shelve our collection of materials. Send your tax-deductible donation of $150 today and we'll include your name on the bookcase sponsor plaque.

To donate, use our PayPal donation form at the top of this page and select "Bookcase donation." Thank you!

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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.