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  PAST Fire Museum Seminars
Preliminary ScheduleHotel InfoDownload the Seminar Registration Form
  20th Annual Fire Museum Seminar
  Phoenix, Arizona • November 14-16, 2009 

Join your fellow museum colleagues as we learn, share and network. The Fire Museum Network is proud to announce its 2009 Fire Museum Seminar to be held in Phoenix, Arizona on November 14, 15, and 16, 2009. November is one of the best times to visit Arizona — daytime temperatures are in the 70s, and evenings are in the 50s. If you will be touring the Grand Canyon, bring a light jacket.

The Fire Museum Seminar is a mix of formal presentations, informal discussions, and tours of local fire and non-fire museums. It’s educational sessions address both operating a museum and firefighting history…. It’s for those who are just starting a fire museum, and those who have been around a while…. It is a time to learn, and a place to see and hear what other museums are doing (or perhaps what they should be doing)…. It is a chance to share problems and solutions, exchange ideas and information, and compare your organization with others…. It’s an opportunity to network. It is late nights spent discussing how many steam fire engines are left in the country; new exhibit techniques; or the merits of the latest museum collections database program. In short, it's… great friends, great food, and a great fun!

The Conference host is the Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting. The Conference headquarters and site for the first day’s presentations is the Doubletree Guest Suites at Sky Harbor International Airport, a five minute drive from the Hall of Flame. The Hotel features two room suites, flat screen TVs, a heated pool, exercise rooms, a complimentary full breakfast and complimentary shuttles to and from Sky Harbor as well as local attractions. Rooms are available until November 1 at a special rate of $125 per night. You should not need to rent a car for this conference.

We are pleased to offer two full days of educational sessions on Saturday and Sunday — ranging from fire safety education programs, how to manage a museum store, the history of fire apparatus development, collections management, web site design, fire safety education, museum lighting techniques, and tips for photographing fire apparatus in the digital age. On Sunday we will tour the state of the art Phoenix Fire Department Alarm Room and one of PFD’s coolest stations on the grounds of Sky Harbor Airport, and we will tour the Commemorative Air Force Museum in Mesa, Arizona, which boasts a B-17, a MIG-21, and many other fascinating displays. On Monday, an optional all day van tour will visit the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, as well as a brief stop in Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon, and a Navajo trading post.

We encourage you to review the registration materials and

Tentative Schedule of Events

Saturday, November 14th Sessions

7:00 -- 9:00AM Breakfast at the Doubletree Guest Suites

9:00 AM Welcome to the conference by Phoenix Fire Department Assistant Chief Chris Ketterer

9:10 -- 10:00 Fire Museum Photography in the Digital Age. What equipment works best, appropriate photo editing software, photo editing techniques, photographing fire apparatus. Fire engines are not the easiest photo subjects. Learn about the best cameras and flash devices, getting proper exposures, using editing software to enhance photos, and much more. FMN President and retiured Houston Fire Captain Tom McDonald will make the presentation.

10:10 -- 11:00 Fire Safety Exhibits. What works and what doesn’t. How does a museum install exhibits and design programs that are both useful and entertaining. Bill Hall and Angela Rayne will present ideas based on their years of success as fire safety educators.

11:10 -- Noon Developing and Maintaining Museum Web Sites. Aurora Fire Museum Curator David Lewis will explore a range of approaches to web site design, creation and maintenance for fire museums. The presentation will also discuss the use of other social networking sites such as Facebook, You Tube, and Flickr. David’s talk will minimize jargon and maximize the specifics of getting a web site up and running.

Noon -- 1:00 Lunch on the patio of the Doubletree Suites.

1:10 -- 2:00 Evolution of Fire Apparatus Design. Fire Apparatus and Seagrave historian Matt Lee will discuss the evolution of fire apparatus design based on interviews with dozens of employees and owners of fire manufacturing concerns. Among a range of events, Matt will explain how fire engine makers remained solvent during the Great Depression, how fire manufacturers engaged in price fixing in World War II and acted to prevent the return of fire apparatus from overseas following World War II.

2:10 -- 3.00 Collections Management the Smithsonian Way. Associate Curator of the Smithsonian Institution Jane Rogers will outline an effective but doable plan for small museums to document their collections through computer entry and photography. She will also discuss proper accessioning, cataloging and inventory of collections.

3:10 -- 4:00 Museum stores. There aren’t many ways for a museum to generate income. A museum store is one of the best ways, but it takes a considerable amount of effort. Museum director Angela Rayne will discuss how to profitably manage a museum store. She will go over the nuts and bolts of stocking a museum store with merchandise, displaying it, labeling merchandise, maintaining an inventory, and tracking what sells and what doesn’t.

4:00 -- 5:00 shuttle service from the Doubletree to the Hall of Flame.

5:00 -- 6:00 Reception at the Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting. Tours of the galleries as well as the museum’s storage warehouse, which contains many additional pieces of classic fire apparatus.

6:00 -- 7 :00 Barbecue Dinner at the Hall of Flame.

7:00 -- Attendees are invited to show their own videos, power points, or descriptions of thie own institutions. A van will be on hand to get everybody back to the Doubletree.


Sunday, November 15th Sessions

7:00 -- 8:30 Buffet breakfast at the Doubletree Guest Suites.

8:30 -- 9:00 Shuttle service to the Hall of Flame.

9:10 -- 10:00 Fire Apparatus Manufacturers of Baltimore. Fire Museum of Maryland Curator Steven Heaver Jr. will discuss the fire apparatus manufacturers of Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore had an unusually large number of manufacturers, most notably the Holloway Fire Apparatus Company established by the Chief of the Baltimore County Fire Department. The Baltimore Fire Department shops also turned out an extraordinary number of well made ladder trucks and hose wagons, one of which is on display at the Hall of Flame!

10:10 -- 11:00 Museum Lighting. Lighting engineer David Steinitz, a long time member of SPAAMFAA and board member of the Maryland Fire Museum will discuss efficient and effective solutions for lighting exhibit areas. There have been many new developments in lighting over the past few years, and David is familiar with all of them.

11:00 -- 11:45 Box Lunch at the Hall of Flame.

12:00 -- 4:00 Bus tour of the Phoenix Fire Department’s Alarm Room and PFD’s Station 16 on the grounds of Sky Harbor Airport, followed by a tour of the Arizona Wing of the Commemorative Air Force Museum in nearby Mesa, Arizona. The museum display includes a B-25, A-26, B-17, MIG 21, MIG 15, Phantom, and many other nicely restored aircraft.

4:00 -- Return to the Doubletree.

6:00 -- On your own dinner at the well reviewed Golden Buddha Restaurant in the Chinese Cultural Center, next door to the Doubletree. Walk or get a ride in the Hall of Flame’s van.

Monday, November 16 -- The Grand Canyon Tour

This optional Van Tour to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon will begin with a fully-narrated tour of the Arizona Sonoran Desert on the way to your first stop of the day -- Sedona's colorful Red Rock country. You'll have time for a coffee break and a chance to get some photos of this fantastic area. Next travel through scenic Oak Creek Canyon and then across the vast Navajo Indian Reservation. You'll make a stop on the reservation at the Cameron Trading Post (with the Painted Desert as your backdrop) to shop for beautiful Native American jewelry and crafts. Your early lunch stop will also be here -- try the Navajo Taco or some delicious Fry Bread! Next, drink in the boundless wonders of the Grand Canyon from our favorite overlooks along the rim drive and take a short nature walk at your leisure. Stops will be made along the canyon's east and south rims. A brief stop will be made for dinner before your return to the Valley of the Sun.

Pickup is at the Doubletree at 7AM. The van will return at 7:30–8:30 PM.
This optional tour cost is $130.

Your Host -- the Hall of Flame museum in Phoenix, Arizona
The Hall of Flame offers six galleries with over 35,000 square feet of exhibits. There are over 70 restored pieces of fire apparatus from the United States, England, France and Japan. One of the galleries is dedicated to the history of wildland firefighting in the United Sattes. Another gallery houses the National Firefighting Hall of Heroes, which recognizes fallen American firefigters from 1800 to the present and American firfighters who have been honored for acts of heroism. Other exhibits include lithographs and artwork, models, memorabilia, fire alarm systems and fire marks. The Hall’s 20,000 square foot storage facility, normally closed to visitors, will be open for conference attendees.

The Host Hotel -- Doubletree Guest Suites, at Sky Harbor Airport

The Host Hotel is The Doubletree Guest Suites at Sky Harbor International Airport with double rooms with flat screen TV’s, complimentary buffet style breakfast, free shuttles to and from the airport and to attractions within 5 miles of the Doubletree, WiFi, exercise rooms, a heated pool, and a restaurant. The Doubletree is offering a special room rate of $125 per night for a double occupancy room. Some twin beds are available. This rate is good through November 1. The Saturday presentations and lunch will be at the Doubletree.

For more information about the hotel, visit their website:

Doubletree Guest Suites at Sky Harbor International Airport

Now What?

Registration for this year's Fire Museum Seminar, is $180 and includes all the seminars, handouts, admission and transportation to area museums, and lunch and dinner on both Saturday and Sunday. If you are a current member (or become a member) of the Fire Museum Network, and if you register BEFORE NOVEMBER 1, we will offer a DISCOUNTED REGISTRATION rate of $150.

  • Before November 1 -- Download and print the registration information.
    We have saved this year's Fire Museum Seminar Registration Form as a "pdf" document. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software to open this file.

    2009 Fire Museum Seminar Registration Form.pdf

    Download, fill out, and return this registration form
    (with a check payable to the Hall of Flame Fire Museum) to:

    Hall of Flame Fire Museum
    6101 East Van Buren St.
    Phoenix, AZ 85008

    Or pay by MC/VISA/AMEX
    by calling the Hall of Flame at (602) 275-3473.

    All reservations for the Grand Canyon trip
    must be made by November 1st.

  • Before November 1 -- Make your hotel reservations at the

Doubletree Guest Suites
320 North 44th Street
Phoenix AZ 85008
toll free 1-800-222-TREE or 1-602-225-0500.

Code for the FMN Semainar rate is HSM-Hall of Flame.
After November 1 normal rates will apply.

  • Make Air Reservations to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.
    Southwest Airlines usually has the best rates and availability.
    Call for Doubletree shuttle from Sky Harbor Courtesy Phone.

Still Have Questions?

Contact Peter Molloy, your seminar host at the

Hall of Flame Fire Museum
(630) 892-1572