The California Chapter was established on September 29, 1969 as the second regional presence of the National organization (founded in Syracuse, New York in 1958). Len Williams was our first Chapter president, and remains a member today. Like the National organization, the California Chapter is a recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Our Chapter is led by a President, Vice President, Secretary/Historian and Treasurer (each elected to two-year terms), and ten members on our Board of Directors (each serving a two-year term, with five each elected on alternating years to ensure continuity). Our leadership is complimented by appointed, non-voting Board members in the roles of Newsletter Editor and Safety Officer.
All members are welcome, invited and encouraged to serve as elected Chapter officers or Board members - the only requirements are maintaining current membership with the Chapter as well as the National organization - and a desire to help the Chapter thrive in its mission and purpose.
The listing of our current officers and Board members can be found here.
Mission and Purpose
As it was written in 1969, our mission and purpose today remains steadfast to the same few, early objectives:
- To establish verbal, printed, and electronic communications for public, educational, scientific, historic, and fraternal purposes, including the development of an appreciation of the place of fire apparatus, fire-fighting equipment, and memorabilia in the history of America.
- To stimulate and cultivate interest in the restoration, preservation, and operation of fire apparatus, firefighting equipment, and memorabilia associated with the fire service to stimulate and cultivate interest in all matters pertaining to the history of the fire service, firefighting, and fire prevention and to assist and cooperate with, and provide essential services and facilities for, organizations dedicated to the same or similar purposes, no part of the net earnings of which may inure to the benefit of any private shareowner or individual.
- To perpetuate the spirit which, from the earliest days, has actuated firefighters in the rendition of service of the highest type, in the protection of life and property from fire.
Our Chapter and its members have received a number of awards and recognitions over the years -- include these:
California Chapter of SPAAMFAA was awarded this plaque in 2007 from the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation in recognition of 35 years of ongoing support for that organization.
Individual California Chapter members also take home all sorts of awards, trophies and plaques for displaying their apparatus at civic events.
The Redwood City 4th of July Parade is a prime example: a Chapter member receives an award almost every year.
Member Al Schwoerer took 1st place in 2006 for his 1936 American-LaFrance pumper.
Ed Rominger took 1st place in 2005 for his 1937 Ford/Van Pelt pumper.
Len Williams took 2nd in 2004 for his 1940 Seagrave aerial and has won in Redwood City before with his 1929 Ahrens-Fox.
Mike McDonald took 1st, 2nd AND 3rd place at a parade in Valley Center, California.
Len Williams was designated "Fire Buff of the Year" for 2005 by the IFBA (International Fire Buff Associates).