In 1915 the home of General John Pershing, famous for leading Montana’s Buffalo Soldiers, burned killing 4 of his family members.
As with most fire tragedies in the early 20th century, no organized Fire Companies existed until it was too late.
Pershing’s home was withing the grounds of the Presidio (Spanish for Fort) on the North end of San Francisco. This fort was built during the civil war and most of it still stands today.
In 1994, when the National Park Service took over areas of the Presidio, that station became the first and only 24 hour fully staffed Fire Station in the Park Service.
It closed yesterday morning at 7:30.
For political and funding reasons I won’t pretend to understand, the Park Service chose the SFFD to staff the station.
At 8AM yesterday morning all the political leaders and managers gathered at the temporary home of the new Engine Company for photos and introductions. At the same time, the off going firefighters were cleaning out their station, the one manned since 1917.
There was a nice addition a few years back, more on that soon.
Later in the day we had the opportunity to go by and orient ourselves with the station, the grounds, and the Presidio itself.
This is going to be a long process, we are essentially starting a Fire house from scratch. No desks, no dishes, no supplies. The owners of the station are cleaning, installing floors and painting and we hope to live there in the middle of the week.
I’ll do my best to keep you up to date on our efforts.
What I won’t do is take a stand on the reasons for the change, the politics involved, nor will I allow any negative comments about the circumstances.
The company there was identified as Engine 51 and our engine will keep that designation.