The Fire Brigade Museum of the Åland Islands, or Brandkårsmuseet in Swedish, is in the village of Mörby in Hammarland Municipality. A big part of the fire fighting history of the islands is on display here in an old barn.
We recently made a spontaneous visit and were more than pleased. Our 4-year-old was really fascinated by the fire trucks. The entrance fee was reasonable and there is also the chance to make a short visit. As it’s too expensive, it would even be possible to return for a second visit without feeling that it would destroy the budget. And with a grandfather who was a firefighter, the history is even more interesting. It really reminds me of the old metal helmet that I have seen so many times.
The Fire Brigade Museum
The Fire Brigade Museum displays around 20 fire fighting vehicles from the different fire brigades of the Åland Islands. The oldest of these is a Ford from 1926 and the newest a Volvo from 1969.
How about a 1966 Fargo Power Wagon used by Mariehamn Fire Brigade, or a domestic Sisu Nalle that was in use by the Hammarland Fire Brigade? There really are plenty of vehicles and equipment to explore. My favorites included the Volvo water tender from Östra Saltvik Fire Brigade and the Volvo Laplander from Lemland Fire Brigade. The welcoming with the Scania fire truck at the entrance was of course something as well.
Three Chevrolet Cars
There are not only fire trucks on display at the museum. In a small adjacent part of the building, there are three old Chevrolets. The cars were barely visible due to dust on the windows, but many visitors would probably find it interesting anyway.
The Fire Brigades of the Åland Islands
Let’s give some information about the fire brigades of the Åland Islands. The Åland Islands are split into 16 municipalities. One of these municipalities is a town, nine are in the countryside, and six in the archipelago.
Historically it is volunteer-based fire fighting that has been the way on the Åland Islands. The town of Mariehamn had a volunteer fire department already at the beginning of the 1930s. Several more departments were established in the 1930s all around the countryside of the central islands.
According to the current law of the Åland Islands, each municipality is required to make sure that there are units prepared and ready for search and rescue operations. These requirements could be shared between the municipalities.
Today it is only the town, Mariehamn, that has a fire fighting department with full-time firefighters. All of the other municipalities have chosen to sign agreements with the local volunteer fire departments.
How to Find the Fire Brigade Museum?
When driving east from Mariehamn on road 1 towards Eckerö, you will pass the village of Frebbenby. Here you turn off the road, there are signs pointing towards Mörby and “Brandkårsmuseum”. The museum is located in Mörby and it is quite easy to miss it when driving. It is on your right. As of 2021, there was a red barrel at the entrance and a large red fire truck visible in the yard.
Looking for more sights on the Åland Islands?
Check out our Åland Islands Guide >>