Bloomingdale resident and Tampa firefighter Wes Stevens recently presented handmade wooden flags to the team of Hillsborough County Fire Rescuers who saved his life in December.

A team of Hillsborough County Fire Rescuers (HCFR) received a special thank you last month. Bloomingdale resident Wes Stevens presented the firefighters that saved his life in December with handmade wooden flags to thank them for coming to his aid when he lost consciousness in his home.

Stevens, who is also a firefighter at Tampa’s Fire Rescue Station 22, was woodworking in his garage in December when he was electrocuted with a 2,000 volt current that ran through his body and stopped his heart. According to Hillsborough County Senior Media Relations Strategist Chris Wilkerson, the accident left Stevens clinically dead for 17 minutes until the team arrived to jolt his unresponsive heart with a defibrillator. “The second jolt brought him back,” said Wilkerson.

HCFR transported Stevens to Tampa General Hospital, where he spent 11 days in the Burn Intensive Care Unit, and this month he returned to full active duty. Three days after the accident, Stevens’ wife Hannah gave birth to the couple’s son, Morgan, in the same hospital.

“The accident happened on December 6 and my son was born on December 9,” said Stevens. “He is now three months old, the same as me.”

Stevens is a woodworking hobbyist who sells his art through his business, Black Axe Designs.

“I have been doing woodwork for several years,” said Stevens. “I started making cornhole boards and my love for woodworking expanded to anything from small, hand-carved signs to farmhouse tables, home decor, sliding barn doors or entertainment centers, to name just a few. Everything I make is to order for customers of mine.”

Many of Stevens’ pieces of art include the fractal burning of designs into wood. He came up with a special design to thank the firefighters who saved his life.

“The gifts I made for the County firefighters were small wooden ‘Thin Red Line’ American flags,” said Stevens. “I wanted to thank them personally and since I do woodworking, I felt that would be a nice gift.”

To learn more about Black Axe Designs, search for the business on Facebook or Instagram or call 625-7292.

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Kate Quesada
Assignment Editor Kate Quesada started working at the Osprey Observer in 2004 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a masters degree in Mass Communications. Since then, she has held various positions at the paper and has been working as the assignment editor since January 2020. She lives in Lithia with her husband Mike and sons Dylan and Max and stays active in the community on school PTA boards and volunteering with local organizations.