Historical Fire Station Remains As Relevant As Ever

Historical Fire Station #201 continues to watch over Old Town Alexandria and the adjacent coastal waters.
Historical Fire Station #201 continues to watch over Old Town Alexandria and the adjacent coastal waters.
The single-engine station, with it's ATV mini-ambulance is also responsible for sections of the Mount Vernon trail.
The single-engine station, with it’s ATV mini-ambulance is also responsible for sections of the Mount Vernon trail.
An old fire engine dating back to the 1860's royally sits inside Alexandria's Fire Station #201.
An old fire engine dating back to the 1860’s royally sits inside Alexandria’s Fire Station #201.
While the firefighting equipment is certainly modern, the inside of the building retains its historical charm.
While the firefighting equipment is certainly modern, the inside of the building retains its historical charm.
The old fire engine stored inside the station is a constant reminder of the long and distinguished tradition of local firefighters.
The old fire engine stored inside the station is a constant reminder of the long and distinguished tradition of local firefighters.
With today's modern firefighting equipment taking up most of the limited space, the old must cohabit with the new in the small fire station.
With today’s modern firefighting equipment taking up most of the limited space, the old must cohabit with the new in the small fire station.
You can just imagine how comfortable the ride must have been on dirt and cobblestone roads during the  late 19th Century.
You can just imagine how comfortable the ride must have been on dirt and cobblestone roads during the late 19th Century.
A firefighter's work is never done, as evidenced by the need to maintain the equipment in tip-top shape.
A firefighter’s work is never done, as evidenced by the need to maintain the equipment in tip-top shape.

I have walked by Fire Station #201 in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia many times before.  After all, Prince Street is somewhat of a well-known street in Old Town, specially during spring when some of the best looking tulip plantings in the area can be seen barely a block away.  Never had I seen the station doors open, though, or seen any of its personnel hanging out outside like they do in the movies.  I guess this is a good thing when you think about it, because when firefighters are not busy putting out fires it means that some level of human and property suffering is being avoided.  But today, as I decided at the last minute (and for no particular reason) to take the long way to where I was headed, I was pleasantly rewarded with the opportunity to visit the #201 Station by some of the nicest people I’ve met in a long time.  The folks at the station were extremely friendly, informative, and obviously very proud of the work they are doing to keep the rest of us safe.  For this roving photographer, what started as a quick walk on a sunny Sunday morning turned out to be a lesson in history, a walk of discovery, and a realization of how thankful we all must be for the professionalism and sacrifice of our great firefighters (of which my brother-in-law is one).  I guess no day, no matter how ordinary it may look, is really ordinary.  I met some great Americans today at a place that is both part of America’s past and of its present, and I am glad to report that we could not be in better hands when it comes to our safety and wellbeing.  So, a big thank you goes out to the great folks of Fire Station #201 for their generosity and the great work they do together with firefighters from other stations to keep the rest of us safe and secure.