VIDEO: You don’t have to be in Howie Schneider’s presence long to realize he’s a firefighter with more than 30 years of service. The family portraits give it away, as most of the Schneiders wear fire suits for a living. He’s the third generation and spent more than 10 years at the Los Angeles Fire Department, where his grandfather started.
“He had badge number 3, so he was one of the founders of that department. They got over 2,000 guys down there now,” Schneider said. Now that badge number three sits in a case and is the oldest known LAFD badge in existence - but that isn’t even close to the oldest pieces Schneider has. The bulk of the case is what appear to be fragrance bottles but are actually old fire extinguishers dating back to the 1860s.