A while back, a new customer of ours, Magan, reached out to the shop and requested to help restore and preserve a fire helmet for her boyfriend's father, Kevin Maroney.
As Magan and her boyfriend were moving some things around in his father's storage unit, they discovered the helmet tucked away along with various other items, and in complete disarray. Although the helmet may have been in relatively poor condition when it was found, it wasn't anything the techs couldn't handle, so we were glad to see that the helmet could be fixed up like new again.
Kevin Maroney started his career as a firefighter in the City of Providence Fire Department in October of 1973, and later retired in September of 1991 after 18 years of service. From what Magan had been told from her boyfriend, Kevin had been exposed to enough smoke to the point where it is believed he amassed lung damage from smoke inhalation over time in his career. Once the helmet had been pulled out of storage, she had though of creating a preservation piece as a gift.
"[...] I always have ideas in my head for gifts for my boyfriend and his family, for birthdays and Christmas. [...] Instantly thought if I could just get it cleaned up and restored, it would be such a great gift for his birthday that September. So I did my research and came across RagTop Fire."
Originally, her plan was to have the piece done for his birthday, but due to sudden circumstances, she couldn't make it up to the shop in time, and had to postpone. She then later planned to complete the gift in time for Christmas with only one thing left to do - get the timing right and make the trip up to the shop in Connecticut from Coventry, RI.
In Magan's eyes, she has seen Kevin as a father figure in the past years. He took her in with open arms, and she says at this point, he is more of her father-in-law while being very important to both herself, and her children.
"[...] my boyfriend and I decided that we should definitely go halves on the restoration and preservation, and give him something we knew he’d like. And there’s also not many ways to thank someone for loving you like their own daughter."
When it came to restoring the helmet, we wanted to ensure we got everything looking proper. A simple scrub down and some minor TLC later, we got the helmet as clean as can be, all while leaving it looking as original as possible. The goal of the project here wasn't to completely customize and alter the helmet, but rather simply clean it up and mount it to a display board for a wall-hanger. Once we had the helmet in a clean and proper state again, it was time to turn our attention to the board it would be mounted on, and the plaque that would recognize Kevin's career.
The shop was glad to have taken in the helmet and create the entire preservation piece for Magan, her boyfriend, and his father, Kevin. Restoration work is our forte, but when it comes to preserving legacy and history, we take pride in our preservation work. Since completing this piece for Kevin Maroney, RagTop has taken on a few other preservation projects both big and small. We look forward to completing more of these in the future.