The organizational meeting of the Society was held June 6, 1978 with 15 people in attendance. Tommy Herman was elected as the first president of the Society.
On May 23, 1979, an ex-City of Richmond 1948 Mack pumper was donated to the Society by The Shelton Witt Equipment Corporation. This pumper sparked interest and became a regular participant in parades and events all over the Commonwealth of Virginia.
On June 2, 1979, the Society sponsored the 1st Richmond Firefighters Parade and Show. This parade and show grew to become the annual Richmond Firefighters Parade and Muster and was a popular event in the formative years of the Society.
In June of 1979 the Society applied to the national organization, The Society For The Preservation and Appreciation of Antique Motor Fire Apparatus (SPAAMFAA), to become a regional chapter. The charter for the Virginia Regional Chapter of this national organization was presented to the Society on May 14, 1980 during the antique fire engine muster held annually on the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, MD.
From humble beginnings the Society has not only grown in numbers but has played an important role in the collection, preservation and presentation of fire service history. Our library and archive center actively collects and safeguards historical records, photographs, manuals and books important to historical research. Our members collect and preserve fire department memorabilia and apparatus so that future generations will have the opportunity to see, enjoy, and learn about firefighting within the fabric of American history.
The Society currently sponsors antique fire apparatus musters throughout the commonwealth and participates in over 200 events annually with apparatus and memorabilia. Meetings and events are planned family style and revolve around a society activity all ages are sure to enjoy.
The Society publishes a quarterly newsletter, "The Old Dominion Torchbearer", which contains listing of upcoming firematic events, fire memorabilia and apparatus sales, plus want and for sale ads. The Torchbearer also contains articles of a historical nature and apparatus technical tips.
The Society welcomes anyone with an interest in preserving the history of the fire service. Ownership of fire apparatus is not a requirement. Dues are $15.00 annually for an individual or a family.
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