The German Fire Fighting Museum presents the history of Fire-fighting and Fire Prevention, not only as special branch of history and technology, but also as a subject of cultural and social history.

Established in 1988 in Fulda, an attractive centre in the State of Hesse, in the reunited Federal Republic of Germany, the contemporary building contains two spacious display halls, which are connected by an administrative wing. In an exhibition space of approximately 1,600 square metres, the exhibits are surrounded by historical backdrops, whereby the particular items from simple leather buckets to complex fire appliances of more recent times are vividly presented in their contemporary context.

Baroque hand pump, built in 1751

Baroque hand pump, built in 1751

Fulda enjoys the proximity of the natural park area of Vogelsberg and the outstanding Rhoen biosphere reservation. The Museum attracts in the region of 25,000 visitors per year from Germany and abroad, to see the story depicted of organised fire-fighting in the German speaking area from the Middle Ages to the present day.

Larger fire appliances on display are situated in sunken areas, surrounded by raised pavements, which heightened viewpoint enables visitors, especially children and wheel-chair users to have a comfortable look at even the interior details of the exhibits. This arrangement also makes it possible to display exhibits in their particular functional context.

Among the exhibits are important examples; such as the oldest known hand pump in the World (1624), extensively decorated hand pumps from the Baroque and Classicism eras, the oldest known horse-drawn turntable ladder (1808),a still working steam fire pump(1903), the first electrically propelled turntable ladder in the world (1903) and early fire appliances with petrol engines.

Turntable ladder with electro engine, once in service with the Offenbach fire department, built in 1903

Turntable ladder with electro engine,
once in service with the Offenbach
fire department, built in 1903

Despite these superlatives the Museum takes care to ensure a well balanced display of fire-fighting history, so the equipment of the smaller volunteer brigades receives as much consideration as the specially developed vehicles of the large professional organisations. Therefore both fire-fighters from rural areas and their professional colleagues from municipal or industrial fire brigades can easily find their particular aspect of history. Visitors who are not members of fire brigades, can also see a comprehensive overview of a broad range of topics.

You can try out for yourself the strenuous operation of a hand pump, which is situated next to the "fire water pond" of the Museum. Families are cordially welcome, and a play area has been provided for our youngest visitors with an original fire appliance driver's cab, especially prepared for future fire-fighters.

Pre-registered groups visiting the Museum between 1st April and 31st October can book a guided "behind the scenes" tour of the reserve collection.

The archives and the comprehensive library are available on week days, for researchers who have booked in advance.

In our Museum shop, enthusiasts of all ages can find a wide range of attractive gifts from models to specialized books on fire and fire-fighting.