FISHERS, Ind. — (NOTE: See the video below for Carlos Diaz's entire interview with Fishers firefighters Scott Carr and Rob Demlow.)
Two Fishers firefighters have discovered a way to honor America and their fellow first responders, while also showing off their artistic side — and making a little extra money on the side.
Firefighters Scott Carr and Rob Demlow are making American flags completely out of old firehoses.
"Fire departments around [the country], when a section of [fire]hose goes bad, whether it's in a fire or during training, they're just taking them off the truck and throwing them away," Carr said. "We had some hose lying around the firehouse getting ready to go in the dumpster. 'What if we can do something with this firehose to make a piece of artwork symbolizing the flag?'"
The end result was a beautiful, unique piece of art.
"When we started this, it started as a fun hobby and blossomed into this business that's starting to take off and do well," Carr said, with neither firefighter having any form of artistic background.
When Fishers Fire Station 92 was renovated a few years ago, Carr and Demlow decided the walls were bare and boring, so they jumped into action by painting multiple Station 92 logos on the firehouse walls.
"We asked the captain of the station, and he was gracious enough to let us kind of use our artistic skills," Demlow said.
The positive response to their artwork was encouraging — as well as surprising.
"I think we were both [surprised]," Demlow said.
That logo artwork led the duo to making American flags out of firehoses, which led them to founding Brotherhood Designs earlier this year. Since then, Carr and Demlow have sold 29 firehose flags for as much as $2,000 a flag.
So, what's their secret?
"First, we get the hose that is going to be thrown in the trash," Demlow said. "We feel like we're actually doing something that's helping with the environment, as well. We're cleaning it, we're cutting it to the size that we need it for the flag. Then, we make a backer. The stars get cut out of hose, and they are the same material, the same hose, and it gets cut down by laser. Some of our first ones were cut out by hand."
Recently, Carr and Demlow designed and donated a flag to the family of fallen Elwood Police Officer Noah Shahnavaz.
"We knew his ties with Fishers," Carr said. "We have the ability to do something nice to memorialize him, and this is something unique. We decided we were going to do a thin blue line flag in honor of him."
Another one of their "Thin Line" series flags is on display at an art show in Fishers.
And then, there's a certain country music star who is a big fan of their flags and has one on display in his Nashville bar.
"John Rich!" Demlow said. "He is the famous country music star that sings, 'Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy,' with Big & Rich."
So, with all of this success, do Carr and Demlow finally consider themselves artists?
"I believe we filled a niche that is artistic in its own right," Demlow said. "We're proud of it."
We'll count that as a "Yes!"
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