Alabama Firefighters Museum cuts ribbon on new campaign officePublished 1:21pm Monday, September 30, 2013
By STEPHANIE BRUMFIELD / Staff Writer
CALERA – The Alabama Firefighters Museum and Education Center moved into a new office Sept. 27 in what executive director Lindsay Schluntz called a “very visible step forward” on the construction of the new museum.
After spending months sharing a city building with the Calera Chamber of Commerce, the Alabama Firefighters Museum and Education Center office has moved to a location off Alabama 25 across from Central State Bank, which is just a few blocks away from the museum’s eventual site. The chamber of commerce has also moved into the new location.
“We wanted a place that’s more visible,” Schluntz said. “We are also installing a sign on the interstate (at the museum’s future site) directing people here.”
The office ribbon cutting also served as the official capital campaign kickoff for the museum. The project has already received $1.5 million in pledges but still needs to raise approximately $3 million to reach its $4.5 million goal, Schluntz said.
Also at the office ribbon cutting was the first public unveiling of the foundation’s plan for the museum, which the public can view during regular office hours. Schluntz called the office a “sampling of what the museum will be like.” The office showcases a video that gives a walkthrough-like experience of the museum as well as a mural and images produced by EXPO/MethodOne of Birmingham, who has created the images of the proposed museum gallery, Schluntz said.
Providing much of the memorabilia for the upcoming museum is retired firefighter and board vice president J.D. King.
“The opening of the office is the beginning of a dream,” said King, who started collecting fire trucks and other memorabilia more than 40 years ago.
“I like the history and how firefighting has evolved over the years from buckets to … the strong engines they have now,” King said.
Schluntz said she sees the history and the fire trucks as a way to draw people in, even though fire prevention and safety are the museum’s main goals.
“We want to emphasize fire prevention awareness to prevent deaths in Alabama,” King said.
Anyone interested in learning more about the proposed museum is invited to visit the office anytime Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For information about upcoming events, visit Facebook.com/AlabamaFirefightersMuseum.