Central Fire Station Museum
The Royal Perth Hospital (RPH) museum and the Firehouse museum are across the road from each other, and worth combining on the same day. Interesting fact, upstairs at the firehouse was the sleeping quarters for the single fireman in the early days. Across the road was the sleeping quarters for the single nurses at the hospital. Both had strict policies about curfews and non-fraternisation. One of the staff members at the firehouse told me that her grandparents met when they both worked respectively here, and the policies were not strictly adhered to. This made me smile, imagining the antics they would have got up to in generations gone by.
Entry is free to the Fire Station Museum located on the corner of Irwin and Murray Streets, Perth. Opening times are 10am to 3pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays.
Opened in 1901, the fire station operated continuously until 1979. It was a purpose build firehouse and started with horse drawn equipment. In 1906 and 1911 the original building was extended and in 1911 the first motorised appliance - a crew carrier, was introduced. By 1920 the last horse had been sold.
On display are a few historical fire fighting machines and two more modern vehicles.
Upstairs is the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) Education and Heritage Centre. A fabulous education centre that is perfect for both children and adults. It covers emergency preparation, cyclone fire, hail, storms and smoke information. Interactive displays provide information on fires in the home, bush fires and water safety. It was a pleasure to visit this museum, and takes about an hour and a half to go through both upstairs and downstairs. Visiting museums such as this gives you a more complete picture of earlier days in Perth.
This is the museum today and is a great example of the Federation Romanesque architecture of the early 1900s.