Preserving honor for the men and women who risk their lives serving as firefighters. That’s the mission of the Erie Firefighters Historical Museum on the region’s west side.

This week, the museum got a visit from Loving Giving Local.

Two stories of local firefighting history, equipment, and memorabilia — it was originally collected in the basement of Erie Firefighter Richard Robb. But when the collection outgrew his house, it moved to this house in 1976, a former firehouse at 5th and Chestnut streets.

The building was built in 1903 when horses pulled the fire wagons. Before that, the firefighters pulled it themselves by hand.

All of that history can be seen here.

“Anybody interested in the fire service, history itself or the history of Erie, I encourage you to come down and take a walk-through. There’s a lot of history here to look at,” said Mike Fahey, museum volunteer.

Remember when fire alarm boxes like these were everywhere?

That was before people had ready access to telephones to dial 911. Firemen would respond to whatever fire alarm box was pulled.

So much has changed as only two of Erie’s firehouses now have a pole for firefighters to slide down to respond quickly from their bunks upstairs to the fire equipment below.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the mission of this museum.

We know all too well that every time a fireman leaves the firehouse, they put their lives on the line. The museum pays tribute to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

“For us to bring Loving Giving Local to the firefighters museum, to come here and see the museum and all the history that’s here, and to see the firefighters from our community being honored in a tribute here for them, that’s what Loving Giving Local is all about. It’s giving back to the community and the firefighters museum has been doing it for years,” said Joe Askins, sponsor, Auto Express Resale Center.

If you’d like to take a walk back in time through the region’s firefighting history, the museum is open Saturdays from noon til 4 p.m. June through October.