Squad 51 & Engine 51 from TV’s “Emergency” in Bellflower, CA

Located just off Bellflower Boulevard in Bellflower, California, in a nondescript building with little-to-no signage, is the L.A. County Fire Museum. Even without the signs, it’s easy to spot by all of the fire equipment outside. It’s not in the greatest part of town, and parking can be a challenging, but once you get inside you’ll understand that this is a very special place. Admission is free (!), with a suggested donation of $5.

This is what we’ll call a ‘working’ museum, meaning, in large part it’s a garage. And some of the exhibits might be up on the lift getting some work done. In that way, it reminded me of the small air museum in Paso Robles, CA. I really like these kinds of museums, as it lets you get up-close with the subjects and exhibits.

"Station 51" helmets, signed by Kevin Tighe and Randolph Mantooth.

“Station 51” helmets, signed by Kevin Tighe and Randolph Mantooth.

A collection of LA County Fire Department helmets.

A collection of LA County Fire Department helmets.

At the entrance to the museum, there is a room jam-packed of fire uniforms, helmets, handheld equipment, etc. And I mean ‘jam packed’. They are a little tight-for-space, and they have a lot of artifacts.

A 40's Ford 'Rescue Wagon" restomod.

A 40’s Ford ‘Rescue Wagon” restomod.

Once you get into the floor of the museum, I.E., the garage, you may be overwhelmed with the number, and variety, of firefighting apparatus on display.

An old, horse-drawn, steam fire engine, "Neptune".

An 1888, horse-drawn, Silsby rotary gear steam fire engine, “Neptune”.

A 1907 American-LaFrance horse-drawn steam fire engine.

A 1907 American-LaFrance horse-drawn steam fire engine.

A 1924 American-LaFrance Ford Model TT fire engine.

A 1924 American-LaFrance Ford Model TT fire engine.

A 1927 Seagrave Triple fire engine.

A 1927 Seagrave Triple fire engine.

The 'dashboard' on the 1927 Seagrave Triple.

The ‘dashboard’ on the 1927 Seagrave Triple.

The centerpiece to the LA County Fire Museum collection is, of course, the fire engines and rescue truck featured in the television show “Emergency!. A few times, over the course of the first 2 seasons, Engine 51 was an old, open-compartment, 1965 Crown Firecoach Triple, seen with its counterpart from Station 36.

The original Engine 51.

The original Engine 51.

By the third season, Engine 51 was upgraded to the 1974 Ward-LaFrance fire engine.

Engine 51, front view.

Engine 51, front view.

Engine 51, right side.

Engine 51, right side.

Engine 51, rear/left view.

Engine 51, rear/left view.

And the crown jewel of the collection is Squad 51. Well, at least one of the three 1972 Dodge D300 trucks used while the series was being filmed. This model is in outstanding shape, the team did a wonderful job restoring it.

Squad 51's rescue truck, from "Emergency!".

Squad 51’s rescue truck, from “Emergency!”.

Squad 51, front view.

Squad 51, front view.

Squad 51, rear-left view.

Squad 51, rear-left view.

Squad 51, rear view.

Squad 51, rear view.

Squad 51, interior.

Squad 51, interior.

The L.A. County Fire Museum is a real treat. If you are in the area, and are a fan of Emergency1, or just of fire-fighting, I highly recommend that you see it.

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Mike Knotts

Mike Knotts was born in 1968 in a small town in southern Indiana. Even when very young, Mike showed a love for all-things technical and sci-fi. Moving with his family to California in the early 80's, he eventually graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in History. Rather than put that to good use, Mike continued to pursue his passion for technology by working for early, regional ISP's in the mid 1990's. He currently resides in the Pacific Northwest, where he works as a project manager for an Internet startup. Mike is a co-founder of Geekometry.

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4 Responses

  1. gary7 says:

    great article, JAY LENOS GARAGE should do a segment on it for YOUTUBE

  2. Bryan Kay says:

    Thanks for the “tour” I’m planning a trip to the Museum and the Emergency! Landmarks this summer 2017. It’s great to know after 40s years of Emergency! ending it’s still a fan favorite and a cult classic.

    • Charles Pennington says:

      Awesome!!! I will have to check it out this Year!!! I watch the show on Netflix a childhood favorite that I never missed one episode! Looking back now I understand why it was so important to Educate the public for the need of the Paramedical Rescue in our society. And today the Local Cities have adopted this as a normal way of City services to the growing masses of our the World!!
      City of LA Employee.

  3. tmaster says:

    thanks for the great photo. please post more

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