New life for old materials


If I was to be completely honest here I'd have to admit I didn't start making bags out of recycled materials with the end goal of saving the planet. My initial goals were somewhat mild, I just wanted an iPad case that would protect my device if it fell, and I wanted it to look freaking cool. One day at work as I was walking past some hose in the apparatus bay I realized the old rubber hose we were going to throw in the dumpster fit around my iPad perfectly. From that point on I began a journey to try and figure out how to turn this super rugged material into usable items. With my initial goal complete I moved on to more creative ideas. I've found that my goals can grow and change as I continue to build RecycledFirefighter and that's normal. Now I can say that helping to keep the material I use out of the local landfills is a large part of my motivation and something I am very proud of.


Here's a list of just a few things I've hand made up to this point. iPad cases, drink coasters, dog collars, belts, bracelets, ipad mini cases, tool bags, duffle bags, rope bags, knife sheaths, wallets, messenger bags, and obviously Dopp kits. 


The toiletry bags are made out of what we call in the fire service 5 inch LDH. LDH stands for Large Diameter Hose. I know that's not very original, but back in the day before we used this style of hose we had to lay several small diameter hoses down at a time just to get enough water to the fire engine. So in comes LDH and saves the day with its 5 inch inside diameter. 5" supply hose has helped save countless lives in the fire service. Not only is it a comfort to the civilians that count on our equipment to save them from fire, it's a comfort to me as a firefighter to know that the fire engine shouldn't run out of water while I'm inside a house fighting fire. 


The LDH I use to make the toiletry bags is made from synthetic canvas that is woven into a tube and then wrapped around two more layers of material. The canvas hose is made with the end goal in mind of saving weight over the old rubber style hose. The heavier our hoses are the harder it is on the guys who load it and the engine that drives around all day carrying it. Even though this stuff is lighter then the original hose I made my first ipad case out of, it's still heavy! I once saw a guy try and lift a section above his head after it was filled with water so a car could drive under it, he got the hose to about chest level until he fell over crashing to the pavement. I am almost certain we waited till we saw he was ok before we laughed, well I'm kind of certain.


Be assured if you've ordered or plan on ordering a fire hose toiletry bag it is full of amazing stories like this. Your bag will be ready to start its new life holding your toiletries and may someday even tell stories of how you over filled it with deodorant and fell down trying to lift it above your head. If that happens, I promise I won't laugh at you. 



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Written by Jacob Starr

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