Everyone loves to see the firefighting trucks roll by during a parade - kids love the loud sirens and horns - and adults are fascinated by the different machines from Hook and Ladder through Stump Jumper. But when the wail of the siren means a real emergency, thoughts turn to hope for safe passage for the firefighters and complete rescue for the troubled. Well, to give us a look at our favorite red trucks and a lesson or two about firefighting, there are two fairly new Firefighters' museums in both Suffolk and Nassau Counties.
Nassau County boasts the Francis X. Pendl Nassau County Firefighters Museum and Education Center, located in Museum Row in Garden City (along with the Cradle of Aviation Museum and the Long Island Children's Museum). A major goal of the NC Firefighters museum is to educate and inform the public about fire safety and prevention and to display the proud history of volunteer firefighting in Nassau County. The Public Fire Safety Education Division of the Nassau County Vocational Education and Extension Board operates the facility and the Friends of the Nassau County Firefighters Museum provide citizen support. The Museum is entered through the Reckson Visitor Center. A caf, museum store, and restrooms are conveniently located in this visitor facility. The Education Center is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 AM to 5 PM. Call the Museum office at 516-572-4177 or visit the website at
Suffolk County offers the Brookhaven Town Volunteers Firefighters Museum, located in Firemen's Memorial Park on Route 25 in Ridge. The Museum is composed of the restored 1889 Centre Moriches Fire House, historic firefighting equipment, a 1920 Model "T" Ford pumper/hose wagon and many other memorable items. A Memorial Garden serves as a monument to the lost lives of 9/11, and 'Firefighters Way' displays monuments of all the Brookhaven Town Fire Departments. The museum was founded as an educational facility to enhance the public's knowledge of the volunteer firefighter. Founded in 1991, the organization is supported by Brookhaven Town Chiefs Association, Town Fire and Police, Volunteer Firefighters Association, Drill Team Association and many volunteers. The site is open on Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm from November through May 1, and the rest of the year on Tues. and Thurs. 10 am - 3 pm, Sat. 10 am to 4 pm and Sun. 12 noon to 4 pm. Call 631-924-8114 or visit the website at