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Tour of the SFFD Fire Museum

Members of the Guild, along with friends and family gathered together on Saturday, November 4th for a fascinating look at the history of the city's fire department at the San Francisco Fire Department Fire Museum. The tour, led by Museum Director, Jamie O'Keefe, highlighted the formation of San Francisco's first volunteer fire departments in 1849 and features examples of hand and horse drawn engines, including the restored Protection Engine from 1820 and the first fire engine built in California, the 1855 Empire/Broderick Engine. The museum, under the care of the Guardians of the City highlight artifacts and art showcasing the history of the city's first responders. The display cases feature early fire buckets, helmets, tools, speaking trumpets, and decorative elements used to decorate early engines, along with photos and other memorabilia. Spanning history from its early beginnings during the Gold Rush, to its response in the 1906 Earthquake and Fire, and the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake are highlighted reminding us of the role it has played in building the fabric of San Francisco history. Members learned the differences between an engine and truck and were captivated by the comparison of fire hydrants and what the different colors and shapes mean in the city of San Francisco. The museum's most recent additions include highlighting the history of the city's Mounted Police Unit, as well as cases dedicated to the San Francisco Sheriff's Department and the EMS highlighting their work and their role in shaping the city they serve.

BAACG would like to extend a huge thank you to Jamie and the Guardians of the City volunteers for opening their doors to our members and for putting together an engaging tour. For those interested in learning more about the museum please visit

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