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African-American Firefighter's Annual Career Day

On September 17th, the African American Firefighter’s will join together for their Annual Youth Career Day focusing on upcoming youth in the community who have an interest in becoming firefighters. Also, many community organizations will participate for youth interested in becoming bankers, retailers, receptionist and many other career opportunities. We will also have career prep booths for upcoming junior & seniors who are entering the higher education institutes. There are many California Universities and Historical Black Colleges to consider i.e. UCLA, Santa Monica College, USC, Morris Brown, Xavier University, Northridge, Fullerton, Morehouse, Spellman, Bennett College and more.

The day will begin with exhibits and continental breakfast for the youth. Registration starts at 10:00 am, with workshops, tours and consultations. This day-long event begins at 10:00 am and ends at 4:30 pm at 1401 Central Ave. in Los Angeles, California. Capt. Brent Burton will give us the history of African-American Firefighters and its museum. There is no charge for this event. Sponsorship and Vendor opportunities are available. Contact Sherrie Burrell at

The mission of the African American Firefighter Museum (AAFFM) is to collect, conserve and share the heritage of our pioneering African-Americans in the fire service. The AAFFM opened its doors as a Museum on December 13, 1997. The dedication of the Museum also served as the acknowledgement of what was believed to be the city’s first 100 years of service by African American Firefighters (1897-1997). In 2002, the Los Angeles Times contacted the AAFFM and stated they had discovered factual information to indicate the history started before 1897 with a man named Sam Haskins, who was listed as the first Los Angles Fireman of African decent when he was hired in 1892 and killed while responding to a fire in 1895.

Today the AAFFM stands as the first and so far the only free standing African American Firefighter Museum in the United States. The first floor contains vintage fire apparatus, stories and pictures of pioneering African-American Los Angeles Firefighters. The Museum gallery is located on the second floor with pictures, artifacts and other memorabilia of African-American Firefighters, Captains, Chief Officers and historical women fire service professionals from around the country. There is a memorial tribute to the firefighters that perished during the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York city.

Today the Museum is open to the public and is strictly volunteer and donation driven. It is a 501 c(3) non-profit organization and it is available for use by organizations and individuals that desire to host events such as; meetings, luncheons, dinners, banquets, book signings, film viewings, jazz festivals, social dances, receptions and retreats.

Our beloved historian, 92 year old retired firefighter Arnett Hartsfield, is our most cherished volunteer. As a Los Angeles Firefighter during the 1940s and ‘50s he lead the integration of the Los Angeles Fire Department. As a graduate of U.S.C.’s law school, he and his fellow firemen known as the Stentorians, the NAACP and the local community, were instrumental in successfully integrating the LAFD. The stories of the men that endured a horrific fight are told by him and museum docents. The history of the Los Angeles African-American Firefighters has been captured on a two part DVD series entitled “Engine Company X”. It is available at the Museum. Since the doors opened over 13 years ago, firefighters from across the world have come to visit us. For more information about the AAFFM, please visit us on the web at or call us at (213) 744-1730