The current Museum was built as a fire station in 1907, as the Fair Park Fire Station. The interior of the building has not been renovated since it opened as a Museum in 1975. This means that the Museum needed to be both restored and renovated. Early inspections and conversations with construction experts proved this true. In fact, their work indicated that the restoration of the exterior of the facility needed to be completed first. A leadership team from the Museum and the construction team worked hand in hand. Working in tandem with the fundraising team, the first-ever capital campaign was divided into two phases.
Phase I: Restoration of the Exterior
Phase II: Restoration and Renovation of the Interior
PHase I: Exterior
In the Spring of 2017, the Museum completed restoration of the Exterior. As you can see going through the before and after photos above the restoration was quite transformational. Bringing the Museum into its second life to serve the community.
PHase II: Interior
The Museum is currently working with their board, committees, and architects to create the vision for the Interior restoration and renovation. As we envision the future of the Museum, please look at the current interior and plan a trip to come visit us!
The capital campaign goals and vision is a long term project the museum has undertaken and believes in. We know our Dallas Fire-Rescue members and our community deserves a first-class museum.
The mission guides all we do at the Dallas Firefighter’s Museum. The Museum Board created the capital campaign in order to meet and exceed the mission! There are three focus points:
1) Expand safety education to children and subsequently, their families. Increase opportunities for safety education in the community.
2) Honor fallen heroes of the Department and honor current firefighters and their work; and
3) Preserve firefighting heritage.
In 2008, a dedicated group of Museum Board volunteers knew that if further education could save just one child, it was their duty and privilege to be more deliberate and ask the citizens of Dallas to aid in enlarging the Museum’s outreach. To accomplish this, the Board developed a strategic plan and launched a two-phase capital campaign. The first phase was a $1,000,000 campaign that was completed in 2018 to renovate portions of the exterior of the Museum. The second phase is a $10,000,000 capital campaign to completely renovate the interior of the Museum to serve the continued All-Hazards Life Safety, education, and historic preservation for the community.
Focusing on the core tenets of the mission of the museum gave the Board the framework to address the growing needs in all-hazards life safety education. Every day, unfortunately, one child dies from a house fire and another 293 children are injured from fires, burns, or injury. Ninety percent of all fire-related deaths are due to fires at home. Home fires can spread rapidly and leave families as little as two minutes to escape after an alarm sound.
Children under 5 years of age are at the greatest risk from fire death and injury in their homes; their death rate is near twice the national average. Each year, nearly 488 children ages 14 and under die in home fires, and another 116,600 children are injured from a fire/burn related incident.
Often, children do not learn proper fire safety behavior such as stop, drop and roll on the ground if their clothing catches fire, crawling instead of running out of a house, or covering their mouth if it is smoky. Fire safety education is important and is powerful in preparing families and children for a fire emergency, especially when practiced.
Statistics like these prompted the Board to redouble its effort to identify the technology and renovations needed for the Museum to stay in its current location while increasing educational outreach, effectiveness, and preserving its history.
Community all-hazards life safety education and training are the keys to reducing the fire problem - and the fire death rate - in the United States. People die in building fires because of construction features, the reactions of occupants, or both. Improvements in building codes can continue to assist in reducing the number of fires, but the public's reaction to fires will still determine whether occupants survive.
As it is presented today, public All-Hazards Life Safety education - meaning lectures, videos, and pamphlets - alone is not enough to reduce our all-hazards epidemic. President of the Dallas Firefighters Museum and Battalion Chief Trixie Lohrke emphasized, “We need to educate our community to prevent, respond, and react to all-hazards in the same manner we train our firefighters to mitigate them. That means training for adults, but especially our children through an interactive museum, with hands-on experiences, we know that a difference can be made. All-hazards prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery are core beliefs of modern emergency education and we want to bring that education to our community.” Our enhanced museum is not only wanted from the community but a vital need based on current emergency statistics and outcomes.