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 or should be executed on behalf of protecting the intellectual property of the American Fire Services and allied professions based on the FEMA Document.
At the outset, it was noted that this idea has precedent. The proposed Archival and Research Center is basically patterned after the Army Heritage and Education Center located at Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The Army Heritage Center was designed to "serve as the Army's public library and archives for Army's history." It is currently operating to actively acquire, store, organize, and preserve, and provide accessibility of all classifications of written documents pertaining to the history of the United States Army and actions of warfare from the time of George Washington right up to the Iraq conflict. Other historical artifacts are both stored and displayed in the Army Heritage Museum. Future plans for this facility include the provision for both indoor and open area exhibit centers to display Army articles of warfare including the evolution of rifles, side arms, uniforms, artillery pieces, armored vehicles, tanks, and other equipment and devices. A separate Visitors and Education Center is in the advanced planning stages.
The Research Center, in the Archival building, provides space for current Army personnel, retired Army and other military personnel, along with civilian writers and researchers to access the documents on file electronically or in special cases to examine the original documents. To provide this capability, there is a staff of librarians, archivist, and document restorers that have established a filing system that cross references each document by specific titles and/or subject matter.
This is a very complex task that requires well trained and professional people. A large auditorium in the center of the Archival Building is used to host both current and retired military officers to discuss specific military engagements or to present special topics on military organization, joint operations, tactics and strategy, and future military planning.
These lectures or presentations are presented frequently and are very well attended by both present and past military personnel. Less specific and detailed lectures, film showings, and presentations are planned for the general public when funds become available.
Subsequent to the visit we have since learned that there is a Law Enforcement Center serving that profession in the same capacity. It is located at 400 7th Street N.W., Suite 300, Washington D.C. 20004. (202-737-3400). It is being studied as part of the strategic planning process.
The primary objective of the National Fire Heritage Center is to archive the history of the American Fire Service and Fire Protection Disciplines. Establishing this facility will facilitate historical review and research to approaches and methods to save human life from destructive fires and mitigate fire losses in the future.
This body of knowledge should significantly eliminate a redundancy in our national effort to achieve these objectives. Therefore, the facility should be the centerpiece of an entire complex, patterned after the very successful and highly utilized Army Heritage and Education Center at Carlisle, PA.
The facility will include a comprehensive variety of materials to tell the complete story of the evolution of:
1. The technology and methodology of fire suppression including
a. Fire apparatus and equipment
b. Personal protective equipment
2. The technology of built-in fire protection, including
a. Automatic sprinkler systems
b. Fire codes requirements
c. Other specialized fire protection extinguishing systems
d. Building construction and fire testing of materials
Developments in fire protection and safety can only be really appreciated by seeing the evolution of selected examples of period fire apparatus and equipment along with the evolution of sprinkler systems and other extinguishing systems, and most important the fire research methods that have brought fire safety in the United States to the level that we enjoy today.
This plan is intended to achieve that long range goal.
On July 17, 2006, a general meeting to discuss the progress of establishing the need for a Heritage Hall for the Fire Service and Allied Fire Protection Disciples was held at the Emergency Operations Center for Frederick County, Maryland. Chief Ronny Coleman, retired State Fire Marshal from California chaired the meeting.
After an extensive discussion, a committee of the whole voted to establish a Heritage Hall as documented in a FEMA publication titled: "Heritage Hall - A Proposal to Archive the History of he Fire Service / Fire Protection Disciplines in America. Four Charter Officers were elected to establish the Heritage Hall program as described into a non profit organization in the State of Maryland with a permanent facility location (See appendix) to be established in the vicinity of Emmitsburg, Maryland.
What emerged from that meeting was a commitment by all of the parties present.
Home Application Commitment Directors Events Legacy Library Membership Officers Strategy