Captain Bill Jackson has been with West End Fire & Rescue for over ten years. While vacationing with his wife last year in Staunton, Virginia, he saw a framed American flag at a local fire station that had been constructed from fire hose.
After returning from his trip, Bill was determined to make one himself. Local fire stations donated old fire hoses that no longer met regulations and would otherwise be thrown away.
“It means more to make it out of hose we’ve fought fires with,” he said. “Any piece of equipment is revered by the firemen who have used it.”
Finally, after months of trial and error, Bill successfully made his first flag. To date, he has made a total of six flags, and plans to continue making them as hose becomes available.
“It’s pretty labor-intensive,” he explained. “I enjoy the challenge of putting them together… I do it because it represents the unification of the fire service and the flag. It’s an honor to take the hose and make the ultimate patriotic symbol out of it.”
About a month ago, Seven Lakes Lieutenant Tim Bouchelle requested that a flag be made for his grandfather, Cal Loy – Deputy Chief of Administration at Seven Lakes Fire Department.
“I knew he would enjoy it,” Tim said. “It symbolizes his service in the National Guard and his twenty-five years in the fire service.”
After a month of anticipation, Tim and Bill presented the flag to Loy as a gift.
“It was a total surprise,” Cal said. “It is something that is a tribute to all firemen. It’s not only a tribute to our duty and respect as emergency service personnel, but also a tribute to our country.”