Retired Firefighter Creates Fire-hose Flags to Support Ventura and Santa Barbara Veterans and First Responders

Flags available for purchase, proceeds support Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation and One805 Fund for First Responders

American flags made out of fire hose from Ventura and Santa Barbara fire departments are available for purchase through the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation (Courtesy Photo).

John Carrillo, a retired Santa Barbara City firefighter turned artist, recently stumbled across some items online that were created from fire hoses. That’s when he was inspired to create his first American flag using the same equipment he had used throughout his career as a firefighter.

Carrillo originally made one fire hose flag to display in his home in Lompoc, then made a second for a friend. He had no intentions of creating more, but word started to spread and he was approached to create another flag as an auction item for a We Support the Troops fundraiser in the Santa Ynez Valley. Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation (PCVF) then reached out to Carrillo, asking that he contribute a flag for the silent auction at their annual Military Ball last November. Now, Carrillo has agreed to create a limited number of flags available for purchase, with all proceeds going to PCVF’s support of the local veteran community and the One805 fund for first responders.

These special art pieces are already wildly popular in the Santa Barbara area, and can be found hanging at many businesses, schools, and local landmarks, including the Montecito YMCA, the Montecito Library, the Coast Village Road shopping center, and the Santa Barbara County Courthouse. There are also plans for flags to be installed at the UCSB Thunderdome, Santa Barbara City College, and the Santa Barbara Zoo.

“As soon as we met with John [Carrillo] and saw how beautiful and unique the flag was, we knew it was something that would serve as a touching tribute to first responders, and an important reminder of the resiliency of our local communities,” said PCVF co-founding director Hazel Blankenship. “We are so grateful he was willing to create additional flags, giving more people impacted by the Thomas Fire an opportunity to reflect, and of course raising critical funding for local veterans and first responders in need.”

Flags are available in sizes ranging from 3 feet by 5 feet to 4 feet by 6 feet. All proceeds benefit the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation and the One805 fund for first responders.

For more information about purchasing a flag, call Hazel Blankenship at (805) 259-4394 or visit pcvf.org/flag-art.

About Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation

Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation is committed to honoring the men and women who have served in uniform at any time. PCVF does this by supporting veterans and active duty members, and related partner organizations, in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, as well as preserving military history and legacy. The Foundation works to uphold Pierre Claeyssens’s vision that those who have served are “Never Forgotten.” PCVF is funded entirely by private donations. For more information, visit www.pcvf.org or call (805) 259-4394. 

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