Fire Department Historical Society Seeks to Chronicle Past


(Friday, April 25, 2008 10:03 AM EDT)

Cleaning out your basement or attic? If you come across anything that looks related to the Arlington County Fire Department (ACFD), don't throw it out!

In an effort to preserve the department's history, the ACFD Historical Committee, headed by Lt. Chuck Kramaric, is looking for pictures, slides, badges, helmets or any other items that have served with the department.

“We're looking for anything and everything, even if it's something small like a badge or a uniform,” Kramaric said. “If John Smith took pictures of a fire in the 1960s, we would love to have them.”

The ultimate goal is to have a museum to house anything from photos and slides to old hose nozzles and gear. But first, they have to get their hands on the items.

Although the committee has not received many items from the public so far, Fire Chief James Schwartz is very committed to the project, and organizations such as the Red Cross have been able to help out.

Some historical items the department already has include the fire coat of the first woman to become a career firefighter in Arlington, a flag from the Pentagon the day of the 9/11 attack and a turn-of-the-century High Eagle fire helmet.

Kramaric said he understands that some people may be hesitant to give items away because they're not sure what the department will do with them, but “the fire chief and the committee want to reassure [the public] that this stuff is going to secured,” he said.

And if there is sentimental value attached to a particular object or photo, a picture of it or a scan is welcome.

“We just don't want to see these things get lost,” Kramaric said.

For more information on the collection project, or if you have an item to give to the department, e-mail Lt. Kramaric at

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