American LaFrance Fire Museum and Educational Center
The American LaFrance Fire Museum and Educational Center illustrates the history of firefighters and firefighting equipment and is located just north of downtown Charleston, South Carolina. The museum houses the largest collection of professionally restored American LaFrance fire apparatus in the country. The 26,000 sq. ft. facility opened to the public in 2007 and currently houses 20+ fire trucks and authentic, historical firefighting artifacts.
Backstory and Context
The American LaFrance Fire Museum and Education Center combines historical education with hands interaction. Opened in 2007, the large facility’s entrance showcases over 20 full size fire vehicles, each restored to demonstrate it’s initial appearance. The remainder of the museum is dedicated to demonstrating the historical transitions firefighting has experienced, along with modern day firefighting techniques and technologies.
The historical component of the museum provides education and information regarding the evolution of the fire services. Multiple exhibits demonstrate how the process and profession of fire fighting has changed over time. Fire fighting artifacts, including uniforms, fire service apparatus, ancillary equipment, and other gear from a span of decades are preserved and presented within these exhibits.
The museum’s other component is a hands on learning center, where visitors are informed of fire safety technique and habits. The museum demonstrates usage of fire hoses, including a hands on segment, along with the science behind fire and firefighting.