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South Haven Fire Dept. puts two murals on fire trucks to honor former members, show dedication of service

South Haven Fire Dept. Mural
Posted at 3:55 PM, Jan 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-18 19:29:02-05

SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. — A west Michigan fire department is honoring former members through art that the community can enjoy.

It started back in 1998, when South Haven fire first had the mural painted in their fire station.

Just over 20 years later, they decided to put that same mural on two of their trucks to show their service commitment to the community.

RELATED: South Haven Area Emergency Services debuts memorial murals on trucks

With these new trucks we had a bunch of open space, and we couldn’t decide what to do with it. We came up with putting the mural on it," said South Haven Area Emergency Services' Deputy Fire Chief and Fire Marshal Keith Bierhalter.

The mural was designed back in 1998 by current Deputy Chief Bierhalter, former Deputy Chief Marsala and the artist. It was painted back then on South Haven Area Emergency Services' Fire Station's wall.

Fast forward a couple decades, and they wanted the community to be able to see it as well.

"We take pride in our equipment, and we like having the eagle on the wall here. We really thought to symbolize some of the past members and remember them by, we used memorial money that was donated in their honor to help pay for that," said Deputy Chief Bierhalter.

The mural shows an eagle in front of an American flag flying over flames with an ax and fire hose, which portrays the blood, sweat and tears put in by those previous members over the years.

"Currently the memorial money that paid for that happened to be my mother and father, Ed Bierhalter and Dorothy, Stanley Waklid and David Henry," said Deputy Chief Bierhalter.

The fire department also said it is exciting being able to portray the murals on these specific fire trucks, becuase they are the brand 'Spencer' which is made in South Haven.