Everyone on our five family, three generation trip found lots of things to appreciate. We ranged in age from nearly 3 to nearly 67 and there was plenty to grab our different perspectives and interests and be appreciated from our different respective elevations!
The volunteer docents are knowledgeable and articulate. Our guide, a third generation firefighter, was able to connect well with all in our group pointing out items of interest to all of us. A good storyteller, he wove his personal history appropriately and reinforcingly into his narrative about the displayed items.
Operated in a beautifully restored fire house, the everyday life of a century-ago firefighter is on full display. An “audio diorama” gets the docent-directed tour just inside the main doors off with a galloping start.
The sharp clang of an alarm bell starts the minutes long and sometimes raucous narrative of horses being quickly harnessed for a mad dash down Fourth Street to a years-ago extinguished pseudo-blaze. The museum mannequins - human and equestrian - with expressions of excitement, anticipation and urgency draw visitors further into the action. Only one thing is missing – the olfactory impacts of the horses, steam-pumps and hopefully simulated horse exhaust lying on the stall floor.
The rest of the tour is less boisterous, but no less interesting!
With regularly changing display photos from local fire companies and an extensive compliment of surplus items that can be cycled into various areas of the museum, there will always be new things to see.
The quality of the equipment and apparatus on display, the attention to accuracy and detail and the pride of participation shown by the 100% fire service connected volunteers on staff make this experience worth the trip. This museum reflects well on the thousands of volunteer firefighters who serve across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Country. Whether in station or on scene, these people have my respect.
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