A new mural showcasing the history of the Philadelphia Fire Department will feature images depicting nearly three centuries of dedicated service to the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.
The artwork, designed by Eric Okdeh, will be created over the coming months during several citywide “paint days.” It will be installed on a wall near the fire station housing Ladder 2/Medic 44 at 4th and Arch streets in Old City.
“An extraordinary amount of teamwork is needed to save lives and protect property 24x7x365,” said Fire Commissioner Adam K. Thiel. “We are grateful to Mural Arts for sharing our story in such a powerful way.”
The mural will highlight apparatus and equipment used over the department’s 280-year history – from when Benjamin Franklin helped form the volunteer Union Fire Company in 1736, to the official start of the paid municipal department in 1871, and up through the present day.
The piece will include significant milestones such as when African-American, Latino and female firefighters first joined the department, and the increasing role of EMS providers. It will also highlight partner organizations that work closely with the Fire Department on emergency responses.
“We are honored to do a mural that captures the breadth and depth of such an important and historic Philadelphia institution,” said Jane Golden, executive director of Mural Arts Philadelphia. “While this artwork will capture important history, it will also pay tribute to our invaluable and courageous first responders.”
Fire prevention and public safety outreach for all ages will be a key component of the project, along with community paint days that will allow people all over the city to help create the mural.
More details to come!