Fire Hose Flag

2nd Place; Art & Furniture (2015)
Aaron Foster

I was born in Washington DC where I’ve been a firefighter / EMT for the better part of 12 years. I’ve volunteered in both Montgomery County and Prince Georges County just outside of the city for 15 years. In 2015, DC ran over 215,000 calls between fire and EMS; that being said, we put a lot of hose on the ground for a multitude of emergencies. As the fire hose gets beat up and destroyed, they are put out of commission for safety reasons.

What got my creative juices flowing was seeing companies use the same material that the hoses are made from to make pants and wallets. I have been making signs, doing woodwork, upcycling and refinishing for years as a hobby. I figured why not incorporate my American Firehouse pride into a new project.

On May 14th  2015, I was on my normal 24 hour shift at the firehouse and decided to start measuring, cutting and painting the strips of fire hose.  Shortly after all of the strips of hose were painted, we were dispatched to a house fire where a family was murdered and the house set on fire. Unfortunately I got hurt on the call and the project stayed at the firehouse for a few weeks before I could safely drive and walk again. The project reminded me of the call and the poor family who perished so it sat in my garage until September. I decided I needed to finish the project before I had surgery and was put in a cast for several months. I finished and put the flag in my truck the night before surgery. When my father drove me home from Georgetown Hospital I made him stop by my firehouse where a few of the guys unloaded it and later hung it.

The flag measure 3’x5’, the frame made from 1” pine board, and the hose affixed using adhesive caulk and roofing nails. The flag now hangs above my locker, next to my firetruck in the apparatus bay (Engine 21 in Adams Morgan). In my horrific handwriting, there is a short dedication to the family on the backside of the flag.

Note – if you love Aaron’s flag, check out his website at thewildfirecreations.com – he also makes beautiful wood flags & tables.