Wednesday, 22 April 2009


I've lived in Canberra for 12 years (how did that happen?!), the husband has been here over 30 years, and yesterday we discovered something we hadn't seen before.

The Canberra Fire Brigade Museum is housed in an old fire station in Forrest. It's open to the public on most Saturdays (except public holidays) from 10am-2pm. We just happened to be passing yesterday when one of the men who work on restoring the vehicles opened the doors and drove one out, saw us watching, and invited us in (my sister and her children, visiting from Sydney, were with us).

While I'm definitely not into cars & trucks, there is something about a lot of shiny red paintwork, brass and copper fixtures, wooden ladders worn smooth with use and lines of uniforms that attracts attention.

I think I heard something about Model A Ford in relation to this one (my eyes kind of glaze over with that sort of info):

The X-man tells me the firemen needed umbrellas if it rained while they were in the vehicle below (the section on top is a spare carriage part - it's an open vehicle):

And this is is a canvas jumping sheet:

It was held by 20 firemen for trapped people to jump down from burning buildings, but only used as a last resort because it was notorious for causing injury to both the jumper and the people holding it.

On the right is a stretcher used to get injured people out of mine shafts, sewers etc. in a vertical position. The scaling ladder on the left could be added to a maximum of four others (because of the tapered design).

There are quite a few more fire engines, hose carts and other pieces of equipment on display,a nd the husband is keen to go back when it's open and the engines are out the front, so he can have a proper look.

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