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The Fire Memories Museum was established in Indio, California in January 1998 by Robert “Bob” Green and his wife Carolyn. Bob started as a Firefighter with the Indio Fire Department which became part of CalFire or CDF at the time. Carolyn was an Educator / Principal with the Palm Springs Unified School District. They opened Fire Memories in their home as a private museum. 

In 2006, founder and then CEO, Robert A. Green and his wife, Carolyn moved themselves and the museum from Indio, California to Spokane, Washington.  In 2009 Mr. Green passed away unexpectedly.  His widow Carolyn tried to keep the museum going on her own but found it too difficult. She asked the museum’s Board of Directors, Doug Hammer and Monte Hammer to locate a new home for the museum, preferably returning it to Southern California and making the museum accessible to the general public in a permanent home with the opportunity to expand. 


Moving On

The Fire Memories Museum was planted once again in Southern California with a few small collections spread throughout the local area. On September 11th, 2011, the Fire Memories Museum opened to the public within the unused Fire Station #2 in Banning to house its antique fire engines (it had 17 when it opened) and other memorabilia, ranging from fire extinguishers to helmets.


Unfortunately, due to a lack of volunteers and the inability to reach new lease terms with City of Banning the Fire Memories Museum closed its doors on September 11th, 2015. In just a few short years, the Fire Memories Museum held numerous events, including hosting the city of Banning’s State of the City dinner, countless pancake breakfasts and events for children. The museum displayed more than 2,200 fire fighting-related memorabilia, some dating back to the 1700’s, at the previously vacant fire station in Banning.


When the Fire Museum in Banning closed, the collection of fire memorabilia was sent to numerous places including the San Gorgonio Pass Historical Society’s Museum at the Beaumont Woman’s Club and the Oregon State Fire Museum outside of Salem OR. There were also several display cabinets worth that made its way here to Red Helmet Training which you are seeing today.   


The mission of the Fire Memories Museum then is the same as it is today, to properly maintain the art and artifacts of the collection, to preserve the history and heritage of firefighting, to serve as a memorial to those who have dedicated their lives to the fire and emergency services and to educate the public in fire safety and prevention. Within the museum there is an education center, a "hands on learning and exploring" area where children and adults can experience the historical equipment that brings a sense of pride to this career. Fire Memories Museum was created to celebrate the history of firefighting and create memories.

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