Thursday, November 12, 2009

CFM - Great Park Feasibility Study Preasenation

The Calif. Fire Museum - Great Park Feasibility Study Presentation to the GP Board has been moved to Thursday, January 21, 2010. This change is due to the Christmas Holiday being so close to the December 17 date originally scheduled for our Feasibility Study Presentation. If you were planing to attend this presentation, please change the date on your calendar.

This is a very important day for CFM. This is the culmination of over 6 years of hard work to include CFM to be a part of the Orange County Great Park and a possible existing building for The Calif Fire Museum - Public Safety Education Center.

We are asking as many of you as possible to attend this January 21 CFM Feasibility Study Presentation at the Great Park Board meeting for a show of support for our fire museum at the Great Park. We will also need some of you to speak during the public comments segment of the GP board meeting.

Once we are closer to the Jan. 21 date we will keep you informed on location and time our presentation will be presented.

So PLEASE put the date on your calendar;

Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Any Questions please call Don Croucher 949-493-8718

Sunday, November 1, 2009

CFM at the Great Park Update

The California Fire Museum - Public Safety Education Center is moving forward with our Great Park Feasibility Study which should be presented to the Great Park Board on December 17 at their board meeting. Put Dec. 17 on your calendar and attend this meeting in support of our long awaited fire museum at the Great Park. We need to show the GP Board we have the support of the community for this project.

Following is the latest projects approved for the Great Park.

Great Park Approves Western Sector Development

This month the Orange County Great Park Board of Directors approved $65 million in funding for the first round of construction at the Great Park. The approved development plan will create agricultural space, several sports fields, infrastructure and community gardens. The plan focuses on building out 200 acres of the western portion of the park (closest to the preview park). While 200 acres maybe a fraction of the entire Great Park, this development sets the ground work for larger Great Park construction down the road.
Plans to Expand Arts and Cultural Programing In a hope to expand arts and cultural programming at the Orange County Great Park, the OCGP Board of Directors approved $250,000 to create a master plan for the arts at the park while also setting aside 121,000 square feet for an arts exhibition space, meeting rooms, and a theater. The proposal allocates 48,000 square feet for a galley where visitors can interact with artists and a 200-seat Black Box Theater and screening room. Plans for future expansion of the theater include a 1,500 seat theater which would be double the size of the Irvine Barclay Theater.

For more information on the Orange County Great Park please their our website at:

Monday, October 26, 2009

1948 GMC Donated to Calif Fire Museum

Yesterday, Sunday Oct. 25, we finally completed a two year process of acquiring one of Orange County Fire Department's old engines. It is a 1948 GMC ORCO-CDF shop built fire engine. This engine has a long history with the Orange County FD serving at a number of location in it's early years, including ORCO Sta. 21 (Red Hill), the Orange County Airport, Sta. 27, Sta. 6 (South Laguna) Sta. 29 (Doheny) reserve engine, and then donated to the Holy Jim Vol FD in Trabuco Canyon in the 70s. We will be putting together a complete history and photos of this rig to go with it when on display. This rig served the Holy Jim very well from the 70s till just a few days ago when they received a newer surplus OCFA GMC brush engine. Most of the Holy Jim folks were excited about their new engine, while at the same time, sad to see old "Gertrude" leave the canyon for the last time. But they were happy to know she will be preserved in a fire museum with recognition of their time with the old gal.

Gertrude is now safe at her new home in Big Bear, California and will reside their for a time while Brian Grimes does some work on the motor and running gear. Brain has volunteered do this and store it for as long as it will take to complete his restoration of the rig. He has a soft spot in his heart for this rig as he was a part of the Holy Jim VFD for a time and took care of the rig during his time with the HJVFD. Brain brought his Ford duly pick-up truck and trailer to pick up the 48 GMC and had a safe uneventful trip up the mountain yesterday. A big thanks to Brain for all his hard work on this project

Ready for the trip to Big Bear.

Left, 48 GMC donated to CFM.

Center, GMC up for sale.
Right, New GMC brush engine.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

CFM Great Park Feasibility Study Update

Great Park Update, The First 3 Feasibility Studies

These first feasibility studies will give us a good idea of what ours will look like and what to expect from the Great Park Board for CFM

This month the Board of Directors for the Orange County Great Park voted to move forward with several potential park projects such as an amphitheater, nature education garden, community organization center, and heritage and aviation museum. The following are details pertaining to the board's decisions regarding:

Amphitheater: the OCGP Board approved a $93,000 agreement with Live Nation to study building an amphitheater at the Great Park. The exact details regarding the size and location of the amphitheater have not been specified but as demonstrated by the great success of the park's summer performances there is a great interest in bringing a performing arts venue to the Great Park.

Nature Education Garden: the OCGP Board designated 11.6 aces for a Nature Education Garden which will be created in partnership with the Discovery Science Museum in Santa Ana. This Nature Education Garden hopes to provide guests with a sample of the park's botanical gardens and science museum which have yet to be built.

Community Organization Center: the OCGP Board set aside 3.5 acres for a community center. This center will provide a regional, multi-tenant, non-profit center for public meetings and administrative offices. The center's close proximity to the Irvine transportation center make it an accessible location for local non-profit organizations to operate.

Museum of Heritage and Aviation: the OCGP Board approved plans for a 40-60,000 square foot Museum of Heritage and Aviation (MOHA). The MOHA will be located near the Great Park Balloon and Sports Park.

For more information on the Orange County Great Park please visit their website at:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Last Call

Just a reminder, Sept 4 is the last day to order your 2010 Orange County Fire Services Commemorative Historical Year Book. They are only available by pre order. Don't be left out!! The 2010 book is said to be the best yet, lots of color pages. They make a great gift.
Order NOW before it is to late!! Order at: WWW.OCFSA.COM

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Orange County Fire Services Association has produced a Commemorative Historical Yearbook every ten years. The past yearbooks were published in 1980, 1990 and 2000. These books are produced in a limited edition and only available in the year published through pre orders. I know of many who did not order the past books, only to search the Internet to try to find the year copy desired. If the book was located, they found themselves paying twice what the book originally sold for. These books are an historical keepsake, especially to the service firefighters who are pictured in the book in their respective Orange County Fire Service section. All city, county and federal or related fire services within Orange County are represented in these books. Every fire station, every fire person, plus many newsworthy events are listed, along with special fire service groups. These books are an invaluable historical research source for many years in the future. I can’t tell you how many times I have taken one of these books off the shelf to look up a firefighter’s name, a former chief, a fire event, a piece of apparatus, or even a fire department which no longer exists.

I urge you to please order your book today, before it is too late. The deadline for the 2010 Commemorative Historical Yearbook is September 4th, 2009. You may order by check or credit card. To order and get all the details on the 2010 book, go to the Orange County Fire Services Association web site at: click on the 2010 book thumbnail.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Great Park Event July 11

Great Park Event July 11, 2009, our CFM booth and engine exhibit.

The Great Park Event was a great success, Thousands of people stopped by our booth to learn about our Fire Museum - Safety Center. The kids loved getting the little red fire helmets, while the parents were giver a flyer and told about our plans for a fire museum at the Great Park. Our booth contained a historical photo display and fire prevention hand outs. We had our 1941 White Vanpelt "Little John" fire engin for kids to have a photo taken by their parents.

Above are several photos taken at the Saturday, July 11 event:

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Great Park Design Studio Update

The Calif Fire Museum is progressing very well with the Great Park Design Studio Feasibility Study. We have given them 8 president studies of other fire museums. These will be used to create a matrix for our fire museum. This will give us a look at how much space we need and what the Great Park is willing to give us. Once all of the essentials are put together our feasibility study will be presented to the Great Park Corporation, hopefully at the October GP Board meeting.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Calif. Fire Museum, Donated Fire Apparatus

From time to time, on this blog, I will feature some of the fire apparatus which has been donated to our fire museum over the past few years. To date we have 12 fire engines and 3 hose carts donated for our future fire museum / safety center. The apparatus will be used for a number of different exhibits and the teaching of fire history related to California & Orange County fire services.

The first fire engine featured is this 1957 Dodge/Howe wildland unit. It is four-wheel drive with a 500 gallon water tank, 500 GPM front mount pump, open cab. It originally served the Fallbrook Fire Dept., now called the North County Fire District in San Diego County, CA. It was donated to CFM in June of 2004 and since then has been stored and maintained by Mike McDonald in Valley Center, CA. It has appeared in many special events and parades in the local area including some events in it's home town of Falbrook, CA. It is a unusual rig and one we will be proud to display in our fire museum / safety center, once we have our building, hopefully at the Orange County Great Park.

OCFHS & CFM Merger Underway

OCFHS & CFM Merger Underway

On May 14 the Orange County Fire Historical Society and the California Fire Museum sat down with an attorney to begin the process of merging the two organizations into one. The attorney laid out the proposed timeline for the merger. It is expected to take about three months if all goes well. Some of the items the two organizations need to decide on will include: A new combined board, President, Vice Pres., Secretary and CFO, number of directors, which bank to keep, new name, Logo, type of membership and dues levels, bylaws and other aspects of an organization. Next merger meeting will be held in mid June and the boards will approve the material terms of the merger. After yesterday's joint merger meeting, a workshop was held and the two boards worked through most of the list of items, making good progress. Both boards are very excited about the merger because it will bring less duplication of work, one fund-raising effort, combining of assets and a larger, more focused work force. All have agreed this is a good thing!! Stay tuned for more on our progress.

Monday, May 4, 2009

CFM & OCFHS Merger

The California Fire Museum (CFM) and the Orange County Fire Historical Society (OCFHS) are working on a possible merger of the two organizations. Both have the same goals, which is to build a fire museum & safety center here in Orange County.

The push at present is to build the fire museum - safety center at the Orange County Great Park. CFM is presently in the process of putting together a feasibility study managed by the Great Park Design Studio.

By CFM & OCFHS joining forces this will give us a much better work force and also better for our fund raising. Stay in touch through this blog for updates on the merger and the feasibility study with the Great Park.

We also are now on Twitter for quick updates at

Friday, April 3, 2009