The crew at Station 5 created an incredible dining table in memory of our beloved John Wilson. The group included Jesus Barrera, Ryan Cihowiak, Matt Grunke, Jeff Lazzeri, Tom Martin, Manny Nuno, Jason Sekula, Gary Swedenborg, Jared Vermeulen and Jonathan Vought. The original idea for the table came from Jeff Lazzeri. Jeff had previously worked for Kissimmee Fire Rescue and was inspired by a table they created.
This table has been in the planning stages for over a year and a half. After John’s passing, they decided to dedicate the table to his memory and his love of being a chef.
All the man hours involved was off duty. No overtime or compensatory time was earned and the project was strictly voluntary. As Tom Martin explained it to me, “The massive legs of the table are actually four fire hydrants that were dugged up by David Palmer of our Water Treatment Plant. David used a backhoe to move and lift each hydrant. Each hydrant weighs 800 pounds as they were attached to ten feet of pipe. The hydrants were rusted, not in use and full of debris (sand, dirt, etc.) “We completely restored the with Jesus and Manny’s help”. We contacted a company that sandblasted them. We then primed and painted them. The hydrants sat at the station for awhile before work began on the table top.
We purchased pine wood of sorted sizes. Then the real work began as the hydrants were the easy part. For several days, 4 to 8 hour shifts we worked at Jeff’s house to create the top section. Ryan came up with the logo. Gary did all the artwork, involving tedious tracing and wood burning etching. In addition to finishing the table, we have station 5’s logo burnt on with two actual pick headed axes recessed in the wood adjacent to the logo. The table is appropriately named “John’s Table”. The logo’s Maltese cross which bares the number “5” is copper made to give it a vintage rustic look. There are two Maltese Crosses that proudly displayed “BRFD” in old English text. These crosses are on the middle/center support beam. The table is 12.25 feet long, 4.38 feet wide and 3.75 inches thick and it stands at 31.75 inches tall.
It is a beautiful and wonderful piece of art that will be used for everyday dining. Just like John would have it.