Celebrating the History and Tradition of the Aspen Fire Service
Most Aspen visitors are likely to spend most of their time outdoors, enjoying the beautiful scenery, hiking, or tackling mountain sports. When you need a break from all that fresh mountain air, stop into the Aspen Volunteer Fire Department Museum, where you’ll learn about the history of Aspen’s volunteer fire service, and see intriguing artifacts from the department’s past.
Founded in 1881, the Aspen Fire Department currently serves Aspen and an 87 square mile district. Although the equipment may have changed overtime, one thing that has remained the same is that it is still a mostly volunteer department. These dedicated volunteers respond to fires, water rescues, motor vehicle and aircraft accidents, medical emergencies and more. Widows on the second floor allow visitors to view the vehicles currently used by the fire department. You’ll also see contemporary turnout gear and wildfire fighting gear.
Celebrating 136 Years of History
The majority of the exhibit space, however, is devoted to displays of objects from the department’s past.
The small, round objects are fire grenades. Historically, they were filled with saline solution or chemicals. When thrown at the base of a fire, the glass would break, and the solution would (hopefully) extinguish the fire. Some types of fire grenades were mounted above high risk areas, like boilers. The heat of a fire would cause the mounting bracket to release the globe, or melt a seal on the globe, spilling the liquid into the fire.
If the weather isn’t cooperating with your plans and you are looking for something to do indoors, this museum is a good pick. Admission is free. Throw a couple of dollars in the donation jar if you can.
The museum is open weekdays, and is located on E. Hopkins Avenue, next to Peach’s café. It is open 9:00 to 5:00 Monday-Friday. Check the department website for current hours.