ART! The Repurposed Fireman, Michael Morse

by Nancy Thomas, publisher

Michael Morse has been writing for RINewsToday for some time. He is a retired Captain with the Providence Fire Department.

Michael Morse spent 23 years as a firefighter/EMT with the Providence Fire Department before retiring in 2013 as Captain, Rescue Co. 5. He is an author of several books, most offering fellow firefighter/EMTs and the general population alike a poignant glimpse into one person’s journey through life, work and hope for the future. He is a Warwick resident.

Recently, Morse began expanding on some items he was designing and making at his home – and that led him to even having an Etsy page and now offering them to the greater community.

What began as nautical – and sometimes firefighter inspired – house numbers became decorative pieces for homes particularly by the water or with a relaxed, country style.

Here are a few of them:

Morse writes about many topics – his latest:

Finding your home in the fire service takes some time. Every company has a distinct personality, every group their own identity. (not sure why, but “B” group is weird, wherever you go). The stations have a life of their own, formed by the firefighters who lived and worked there, the things they saw and did oozing from their pores and into the brass, bricks and wood.

One of my favorite moments was finding just the right group of people, and becoming part of the whole that creates a great department. Then, once I was certain I had landed, I would add the company helmet shield to my lid.

I’m not sure how everybody else does it, but in Providence engine company shields are black, Ladder companies are blue, Lieutenant’s red, Captain’s white and Chief officer’s gold.

Those shields bear the weight of generations of firefighters who worked under them. They let everybody know which company we come from, and our actions on emergency scenes reflected on our respective companies. If one of us looked bad, all of us looked bad.

So we did our damndest to look good.

I make these home address shields in honor of the people who wore them proudly. I wore the black, the blue, the red and the white. Never did make it to gold, but them’s the breaks. I have one on my mailbox, and make them to order for anybody who deserves and wants one.

You can contact Michael Morse directly at or see more options at Etsy, here:

Michael Morse is an author with several books – and you can also read his articles for RINewsToday at:

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