Truro firefighter transforms old fire hoses into flags
TRURO, N.S. – It may never flutter in the breeze but a Canadian flag hanging in the Truro fire house unfurls a sense of pride for those who dwell there.
The flag, together with a second one bearing the Town of Truro’s emblem, had the humblest of beginnings, as damaged fire hoses destined for the dumpster.
“The people that work in this department take a great deal of pride in the fire house and our jobs,” said Truro firefighter Mitchell Shewfelt of Valley, who transformed the old fire hoses into flags now displayed on the fire house walls.
“This is a home away from home for us, because we’re working here for 24 hours at a time.”
For Shewfelt, making the flags was easy. All he needed was a 1.5-metre-by-threemetre plywood board, a supply of nails and some old firehoses. Nailing the hoses onto the board was the easy part. But painting the correct flag colour designs was a somewhat more painstaking process and each flag took about a month to complete.
Shewfelt made the Truro flag last February and the Canadian one the following month, working on them in his garage whenever he had free time.
“I can’t say I came up with the idea,” Shewfelt said. “I saw a few pictures on social media of other fire departments in the United States that had built them and I thought they looked pretty cool.”
Shewfelt’s art project did, however, offer inspiration to other firefighters nearby. After seeing his creations, members from New Glasgow Fire and Rescue created their own Canadian flag.
Fellow Truro firefighter Errison Blackie said he enjoys seeing Shewfelt’s creations during his working shifts and feels they help spruce up the bare walls as well as giving firefighters a sense of purpose.
“I think we all appreciate what he did. It definitely adds character to the fire house and having that character around us all the time definitely inspires us a lot,” Blackie said.
Shewfelt and Blackie are both full-time firefighters among the 18-member paid crew.
Errison Blackie, left, is proud of his buddy Mitchell Shewfelt’s efforts to decorate Truro’s fire hall.