Almost in front of the Sloppy Joe’s Bar and just one block from Parque Central Hotel, you can find the Museo de los Bomberos de Cuba (Firefighter's Museum of Cuba). Founded in 1909 by Charles E. Magoon, first US Administrator Governor in Cuba, this museum is the best place to start imagining how firefighters used to do their work in a non-so developed world, like it was a century ago.
You’ll see the whole equipment of those years: hoses, uniforms, shovels, water tanks and trucks, and then you will be really pleased of having such modern equipments nowadays, although you will also see how all these items got more and more sophisticated and practical over the years.
Now, the interesting thing about this venue is that it actually worked as a fire station just until 2008, when it was turned into a museum. This station in particular was very important, especially for Old Havana, when fires, landslides and floods. It also worked as the first school for firefighters in Cuba and it was the birthplace of the first Cuban rescue brigade, so lots of stories may be found hidden among its walls.
So now you know, if you are in the Sloppy Joe’s, or in Parque Central or in the Bacardí building, please take a couple of minutes and have a look in this place. It won’t take you long, yet you’ll learn something new. Sundays just until midday.
Javier Roque Martínez