News Release

Orange County Fire History on Display at Santa Ana College Arts Gallery at the Santora Building Beginning February 3

​Santa Ana, Calif. – In collaboration with the California Fire Museum and Safety Learning Center, Santa Ana College (SAC) presents “Firefighting: Artifacts and Tools of the Trade” at the SAC Arts Gallery at the Santora Building Saturday, February 3 through Saturday, March 3.

The exhibit showcases the unique history of the fire service in Orange County through historical artifacts and tools.

“This exhibit is a nostalgic look at the fire service in Orange County – a time when cities didn’t overlap, but were divided by miles of orange groves and lima bean fields,” said SAC associate dean of fire technology, Don Mahany. “Communication was done by community phones and telegraph. Firefighters were summoned to the fire by sirens and whistles. Times have changed; however, the common denominator remains the firefighters themselves. It takes a special person to run into a building everyone else is running out of.”

Curated by gallery director Phil Marquez, the show highlights both the history of the Orange County Fire Service and that of the SAC Fire Technology program.

“Phil Marquez has organized a show that is sure to educate young and old as well as highlight the rich history of the fire service,” said SAC fire technology instructor Rose Argo who was instrumental in developing the exhibition. “Many of our Basic Fire Academy graduates from Santa Ana College are part of that history.”

Who:       Santa Ana College and the California Fire Museum and Safety Learning Center
What:      Firefighting: Artifacts and Tools of the Trade
Where:   SAC Arts Gallery at the Santora Building, 207 N. Broadway, Suite Q, Santa Ana, ''''''''''''''''''''  92701
When:    Saturday, February 3 through Saturday, March 3

Prior to 1980, the Orange County Fire Department was operated by Cal Fire, but in May of that year, the department was formed and throughout the next decade, unincorporated areas of Orange County were added. In 1991, the Orange County Fire Department was reorganized as a joint powers authority and became known as the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA). The City of Santa Ana, however, maintained its fire department between 1883 and 2012 before joining OCFA. Currently, there are 11 fire departments protecting the residents of Orange County and they are Anaheim, Brea, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Orange City, and OCFA.

An opening reception is scheduled on Saturday, February 3 from 7-10 p.m. The show opening will feature approximately five historic fire trucks displayed in front of the Santora Building. Guests and passersby will have the opportunity to ask questions and see the inner-workings of the fully restored and operational vehicles.

The SAC Arts Gallery at the Santora Building is open on Fridays from noon to 4 p.m., during the First Saturday Art Walk from 7-10 p.m. and by appointment. Visit or call (714) 564-5615 for more information.

About Santa Ana College
Santa Ana College (SAC), which turned 100 years old in 2015, serves about 18,000 students each semester at its main campus in Santa Ana. The college prepares students for transfer to four-year institutions, provides invaluable workforce training, and customized training for business and industry. In addition, another 11,000 students are served through the college’s School of Continuing Education located at Centennial Education Center. Ranked as one of the nation’s top two-year colleges awarding associate degrees to Latino and Asian students, the college is also recognized throughout the state for its comprehensive workforce training programs for nurses, firefighters, law enforcement and other medical personnel. SAC is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the Rancho Santiago Community College District.

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Contact: Judy Iannaccone

Phone: (714) 480-7503