Above Photo: Courtesy of Andy Muzzy and Dave Burton
Dave Burton and Andy Muzzy’s flags vary in size and color.
By Nick Nahas
Dave Burton started his business, Firehouse Designs, in early 2016 after he created an American flag out of repurposed firehose for the Temple Terrace Fire Department. He got such a great response from his fellow firefighters that he decided to make several more flags and put them in a craft show. After a very successful show, the business took off.
According to Burton, making these flags has been a fire service tradition for many decades. This inspired him to make a flag for his own fire station, where he currently serves. Burton forged a partnership with a fellow firefighter, Andy Muzzy. Together they have created many flags. Both work for the Temple Terrace Fire Department, Muzzy for 16 years as a captain, and Burton for three as a firefighter paramedic.
Burton previously did some firefighting in the Navy before moving on to banking after leaving the military. He went to school at Hillsborough Community College to become a firefighter and later began his career. Muzzy was inspired by his firefighter family in New York to continue the family tradition to join the same profession. “It was in my bloodline to pursue a career in the fire service,” Muzzy said.
According to Burton, 95 percent of the flags are made from used, out-of-service, firehoses. They either purchase them or retired hoses are given to them by fire departments. “It has a history to it,” said Burton. “Every single flag is unique. The dyeing process and the way that the hose is laid out on the flag, and the way that the stars are put on there, it’s all done by hand and they are all individual to themselves.” The dyed hose is laid on the flag and the stars are individually spray painted on with a single template. Firehouse Designs has not only made a name for themselves in the local area, but all over the country as well. They have shipped flags to almost every state in the country. Their goal is to build up their local following in Tampa. The two donate a lot of flags to raise money for charity as well, including for the Honorary Mayor of Brandon, the charity golf tournament for the Tampa Fire Museum, a Tampa soccer club and an event for Shriners Hospital, as well as for Old Fire Station #5 for children of soldiers who were killed in action. have donated 20 to 30 flags.
The price range varies from flag to flag. If you are interested in buying a flag, you can view Burton and Muzzy’s work and get in contact with them through their Facebook page, Firehouse Designs.
If you would like to donate a firehose to Burton and Muzzy, contact them through Facebook as well. The pair also sells flags at the T. Marie’s Sunday Morning Market at the corner of Lithia Pinecrest and Bloomingdale in Valrico.