Explore the Museum
The Tampa Firefighters Museum has been designated a “local historical landmark” by the City of Tampa Historic Designation Division. It has also received numerous restoration and preservation awards including the Commercial Restoration Achievement Award from Tampa Preservation Incorporated, and the Hillsborough County Historic Preservation Award.
How We Began…
Did you know that Tampa’s first organized volunteer fire department was founded in 1884? Seven “bucket brigades” were organized to serve the city and on May 10, 1895, the city council passed ordinance #307 authorizing Tampa’s first professional, paid fire department.
Fighting fires is an extremely dangerous job. To protect firefighters, they wear an ensemble of equipment sometimes known as bunker gear. At the TFM you will see two sets of bunker gear. Guests are encouraged to review the gear for differences.
Check out our fleet of Firetrucks including the Little Mack and our 1947 International Foam and Utility truck, aka “Foam 1”. If they are not in our Museum, you can find them participating in parades and other special events throughout the City of Tampa!
Tools of the Trade
Have you ever seen a Spanner or heard of a Bayonet Nozzle? In the heat of the moment, our tools and equipment are what keep us a step ahead.
Life Safety Net
This is the iconic life safety net often seen in cartoons. It consists of a rigid circular frame with a round sheet of fabric stretched across the middle from springs, like a trampoline. You unfolded the net on arrival at the fire scene, got 10 to 16 firemen to hold it at shoulder height below a trapped victim and hoped for the best. The practical limit was believed to be six stories; firefighters in 1900 routinely jumped into a net from that height during their training.
See it in action here!
A fire alarm box, fire alarm call box, or fire alarm pull box is a device used for notifying a fire department of a fire. These boxes where typically installed on street corners, they were the main means of summoning firefighters before the general availability of telephones. When the alarm came in, responders had no idea what the problem was, it could be a fire, or a car wreck, or any type of problem. Come learn about how these boxes were used in Tampa many decades ago.
Visit our Memorial Room and learn more about our firefighters who have died in the line of duty. We remember them not only for their dedication and bravery, but also for their passion and pride for their families, department, and community.