Mayor Teri Johnston and the Key West City Commission unanimously voted to name the Key West Firehouse Museum in honor of the retired firefighter who saved the historic building for future generations. It now bears the name the Alex Vega Firehouse Museum at the Key West Historic Firehouse at 1024 Grinnell St.
Vega's journey with the Key West Fire Department began in 1975 when he was 22. In 1992, his dedication was recognized when he was honored as the Firefighter of the Year. He retired in 2005.
In 1992, the City of Key West started discussing demolishing the historic 135-year-old firehouse, prompting Vega's intervention. His efforts initiated the restoration and preservation of Fire Station No. 3, leading to the establishing of the nonprofit organization Old Fire House Preservation, Inc. Through his resourcefulness, Vega secured grants from both Tallahassee and local benefactors.
Establishing the museum took years of hard work and dedication from countless volunteers and other retirees. A dedicated historian and community advocate, Vega has devoted his life to safeguarding the history of his hometown. His extensive background as a second-generation firefighter and deep knowledge of local history make him an invaluable asset to the Museum.
“His familiarity with the firefighting profession and his family's involvement in it provide a rare insider's perspective that resonates with visitors," wrote Commissioner and retired Fire Chief Billy Wardlow. “He serves as a bridge between the past and the present, connecting generations through stories, artifacts, and interactive displays. He is an irreplaceable figure in the museum's journey.”
Vega currently holds the position of President at the Key West Firehouse Museum. This role has been a labor of love for him, spanning nearly three decades of passionate service.
In the photo: Retired Firefighter Alex Vega – front and center with wife Sarah – is surrounded by family, friends, and colleagues following the official renaming of the Alex Vega Firehouse Museum at the Key West Historic Firehouse.