In the early 1930s, an innovative and motivated group of men led by Stillwater Fire Chief J. Ray Pence met and discussed the lack of quality fire service training and materials in the United States, particularly in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri. In July 1934, a group of educators and fire service leaders met in this building to draft a series of training manuals to be published "as economically as possible while providing thorough and valid information about fire fighting." The manuals were subsequently published and distributed by Oklahoma A & M College (Oklahoma State University).
This initial meeting and subsequent meetings continuing on a yearly basis, launched what would become the International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA). Headquartered at Oklahoma State University, IFSTA is the world's largest publisher of fire training materials. This nonprofit, volunteer organization, with participants from around the world, continues to grow while maintaining an awareness of its founders and those who contributed to its growth and success. The contributions of Chief J. Ray Pence, Professor W. Fred Heisler, and Professor R.J. Douglas will always be remembered.
IFSTA and the fire-related academic, extension, and research efforts of the OSU College of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology were all products of these insightful leaders as they met and worked in this historic place.
Erected and dedicated this 13th day of July, 1997, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Stillwater Fire Department.
Erected by the International Fire Service Training Association, Oklahoma State University Fire Service Programs, and the City of Stillwater Fire Department.
122 E 9th Ave, Stillwater, Oklahoma