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Buffalo Fire Historical Society needs museum volunteers

The museum is free and open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and by appointment.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — For Wednesday's Most Buffalo Story of the Day, we went to the Buffalo Fire Historical Society Museum in Buffalo.

Kelly Dudzik: We're with Mark Packard, he's the Vice President of the Buffalo Fire Historical Society, and this is a hidden gem. There is a lot to see here.

Mark Packard: Yes, there is.

Dudzik: So right now, you are only open Saturdays and by appointment, but you're also looking for volunteers, so what kind of wonderful volunteer opportunities are there here?

Packard: We do a lot of things down here at the museum. We represent the Buffalo Fire Department, as well as the volunteers. We also do fire prevention and the history of the fire department. We also do restoring of fire trucks and all kinds of exhibits down here that you can see. So, we do need a lot of volunteers. There's a lot of work to be done down here, and we have fun. I mean, we all get together and have a good time here on Saturdays, so anybody that wants to come down, they're more than welcome to. We always need people for the office, as well as the displays, and doing outside projects. We're also involved with the firemen's building at the Erie County Fairgrounds. We work with that. We also work and support the Edward M. Cotter, the fire boat, and we also work and support the Buffalo Fire Bell Club.

Dudzik: And, you have displays going back to the 1800s here.

Packard: That is correct. That is correct. We have what you call from horse drawn all the way up to the horse drawn in 1880, when the Buffalo Fire Department became a paid service, all the way up to your modern equipment, so we have a lot here. We have the uniforms, and all types of tools that they used to have.

Dudzik: If somebody's looking through their stuff at home and they find something, and they think, hey, that's perfect for that museum, what should they do?

Packard: They could always call us or stop down on Saturday and drop it down. We take all kinds of donations. So, if they want to get rid of something, we're always open.

Dudzik: What is your favorite find so far?

Packard: Oh, some of the past pictures we have from the museum when it started.

Dudzik: What's it like when you see kids come in and maybe they're super excited to see the trucks, but maybe also they want to be a firefighter in the future.

Packard: Oh, we have a ball with them. We have a lot of fun down here. We've even got a simulator set up over there where they can get in a cab and actually pretend that they're driving one of the rigs, so that's one of our big main attractions down here. The other one, the kids like to come down and pull the fire alarm box which we have set up. When the alarm box is pulled, it comes in on the ticker tape machine, and it reads it out just like it would at the fire house, so they get a kick out of that. They also like to get a look at the equipment, so we have a lot of things for fire prevention for the kids in the other room to do.

Dudzik: It's super interactive. If somebody wants to come check you guys out, what information do they need? Where should they go?

Packard: You can just come down here any Saturday. We're open 10 to 4. We're also in the phone book and on the website.

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