WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Ethan Richards always wanted to become a firefighter.
His journey began as a junior volunteer with the Winston-Salem Fire Department in 2004 when he was just 12 years old.
“Everybody that I was with were Winston firemen, so this is the only place I’ve ever wanted to go to,” Richards said.
Along with his passion for firefighting, Richards has always had an affinity for art and drawing.
“My mom’s an artist and my grandfather, her dad, drew a little bit too,” the firefighter said. “When I was like 9 or 10 years old, I was already drawing more than the other kids.”
And it all began with cars.
Fast-forward to today, Richards was able to combine both his passions into one when he became the designer for the Winston-Salem Fire Department’s new logo.
It was actually all an accident according to Richard.
In his 3 years at Station 5, he’s drawn and doodled in all of the station’s record books.
One of them being a sketch of a Winston-Salem Fire Department logo he had drawn just for fun.
The letters W and S are intertwined for Winston-Salem, locked in by the letters F and D, all in gold with tobacco leaves decorating the ends of the letter S.
The former Hazmat 1 engineer happened to come across that book when he stopped by Station 5 for fuel.
“He went in the office to write what he took and saw that design and he sent a picture to the Chief,” Richards remembered.
The Chief had been wanting to revamp the logo before they’d found Richards’ design.
So, he got the job!
For Richards, it means a lot that his dream station gave him the opportunity to display his own work.
“It’s like I made it on here and then I got to, like, leave a mark too,” he added.
The design is currently on 4 Winston-Salem Fire Department vehicles and will be include more.
“I put a lot of work into it, I hope they don’t change it,” Richards joked.
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