The AAFFM opened it’s doors as a Museum on December 13, 1997. The dedication of the Museum also served as the acknowledgement of what was believed to be the city’s first 100 years of service by African American Firefighters (1897-1997).
Today the AAFFM stands as the first and so far the only free standing African American Firefighter Museum in the United States. The first floor contains vintage fire apparatus, stories and pictures of pioneering African American Los Angeles Firefighters. The Museum gallery is located on the second floor with pictures, artifacts and other memorabilia of African American Firefighters from around the country. There is a memorial moving tribute to the firefighters that perished during the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York City.
The museum’s purpose is to promote diversity and to stand up for inequality against all races and genders. Burton said that while great strides have been made, inequality is still present. He claims that in present-day there is a decrease in the hiring of African Americans in the fire service. Burton continues his recruiting efforts and visits South Los Angeles schools to speak about firefighting to students.
The African American Firefighter Museum is open to the public, with free admission, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.” The museum is completely run by volunteers and also completely driven by donations.