Long Beach Fire Department
by Glen Goodrich and the Long Beach Firefighters Museum
The Long Beach Fire Department’s adaptability has been tested by a wide variety of disasters that have marked it as a unique firefighting force on the West Coast. Thousands of residents and others have owed their very lives to the department since its 1897 formation. The LBFD moved into action during the devastating 1933 Long Beach earthquake, in which its own Fire House No. 1 was reduced to rubble. Its firefighters have quelled oilfield blazes through the 20th century, and its fireboats have poured water onto flames engulfing the docks and warehouses of the bustling port. Other duties have included such side excursions as working standby during Howard Hughes’s 1947 flight of the Spruce Goose and taking care of Sam the cat, a Station 6 mainstay who slid down the fire pole to the delight of television audiences.
The vintage photographs in this collection, selected and arranged by the Long Beach Firefighters Museum, include more than 200 views of vehicles and other equipment, chiefs and parades, and steadfast members of the LBFD braving the hazards of their dangerous calling.