Antique Helmet, Badges Donated to Huntington Beach, CA, Fire Association

May 17, 2024
The helmet was worn by a Huntington Beach volunteer firefighter 100 years ago.

Huntington Beach firefighters this week were donated pieces of the city’s fire fighting history, including a helmet worn by department volunteers nearly 100 years ago.

The donations, which also includes two firefighter badges, came from the Honnell and Hibler families, descendents of firefighters who once helped protect the city and who are connected by marriage and remain close.

The fire helmet is believed to be from the late 1920s to early 1930s. The badges are from the 1930s.

“It was the right home for them to have,” said Terry Hibler, 71, of donating the items to the Huntington Beach Fire Association.

Donald Honnell, 89, said the two badges were his father’s, Roy Honnell. He figured what good were the badges doing in a drawer at home, this way others can see them.

Dave Hibler, 68, said he first saw the fire helmet over a decade ago hanging on a beam in his dad’s office, not knowing he had it for decades. It belonged to his grandfather, Harry Hibler Sr., who was the fire chief for the volunteer department in the 1920s.

The city’s volunteer fire department was formed in 1909, the same year of the city’s incorporation.

The helmet will be restored and displayed in a glass case. It will eventually be paired to display with a restored 1923 Seagrave Engine, the city’s first motorized fire engine. The badges will be added to the city’s collection.


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