There are several important events in the year according to my son. Christmas and Easter are two, but right up there with national holidays are the open house days for the sanitation department and the fire stations!
The second Saturday of May is designated as Fire Service Recognition Day in Los Angeles (and a few surrounding cities). As part of this, neighborhood fire stations host an open house to welcome visitors of all ages. Local stations invite kids to sit in fire trucks, spray water from the hoses and explore the station. However, a few stations go above and beyond to really wow their visitors with dramatic demonstrations and free food and drinks.
Last year we started our day at the LA Fire Department Museum and Station 27’s open house and pancake breakfast. We didn’t know what to expect, but figured at the least it was a good time to visit the museum that had been on our to do list for a while.
It was amazing and packed. We arrived early enough to be served delicious pancakes by our awesome firefighters from Station 27 and to explore the museum before the demonstrations began. The museum is great and probably deserves it’s own post, but for now, make sure to go upstairs to see real fireman poles (gated off) for the kids to ooh and ahh over. Spend some time checking out the photos of famous fires and firefighting gear used through the ages. Downstairs are old fire trucks, some dating back to the 1900’s. You and the kids will love it. If it’s too crowded or you don’t have time to soak it all in, the museum is open every Saturday for visitors.
Back outside, the station volunteers announce the day’s scheduled activities of a fly-by of LAFD’s rescue helicopters and a demonstration on the jaws of life and how they are used to save lives out on the roads. Unfortunately, being located in a densely populated area and it’s proximity to the 101, this station is very busy. Given this, the trucks and EMS workers had to go out on several calls cutting visits to the station short. Be warned this could (and probably) will happen again this year.
During our visit, we heard someone say that the best demonstrations were at the Beverly Hills Fire Station and that their festivities didn’t start until the afternoon. Not getting our fill of fire fighter action, this sounded awesome to us.
The Beverly Hills’s Fire Station did not disappoint. There were activities for the kids inside the station house ranging from coloring to trying on real fire fighter uniforms. There were also free rides on the trucks. We arrived too late to get a ticket for this. Go early if you want to ride around the block in a fire truck.
The real show came towards the end of the day with demonstrations of the (very high!) aerial ladder, rescue rappelling and an actual firefight! At the end of the open house, the fire department set an old car on fire to demonstrate their arrival on scene, the process of checking for passengers as well as putting out the fire. It was dramatic, intense and the highlight of the day for everyone. Stake out your spot early for a front row seat.
Call your neighborhood fire station for more information on the time and activities provided during their open house. It is an awesome day out for the whole family and a great way to show our support for the men and women who risk their lives every day to help us out in an emergency.
LAFD Museum & Hollywood Station #27
Date: Saturday May 13, 2023
Time: 10 am – 12pm (Live demonstrations begin around 11 a.m.)
Location: LAFD Museum, 1355 N. Caheunga Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028
Food: Pancake breakfast with juice is provided free of charge
Parking: Street parking only, make sure to read the meters and street parking signs closely
What to Bring: Hats, sunscreen, water and your camera
Beverly Hills Fire Department Open House
Date: Saturday May 13, 2023
Time: 1pm – 4pm
Location: Civic Center Headquarters, Beverly Hills
Food: Hot dogs and cold drinks are provided free of charge
Parking: Free parking is available in the library/city hall parking structure
What to Bring: Hats, sunscreen, water, snacks and your camera! Some people had blankets and folding chairs for the main event of the day.
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