Representatives from Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments were in Arkansas City on Feb. 7 to film, measure and photograph a historic fire engine.
The visit was part of an almost two-year-long process to turn the Arkansas City Fire-EMS Department’s 1932 Buick fire engine into a collectible holiday ornament.
“We are very excited about featuring this unique and beautiful fire engine as an upcoming ornament in our ‘Fire Brigade’ series,” said Michael Brush, editorial strategist for Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments.
The Buick will be released in mid-2018 as part of that year’s ornament series.
Keepsake artist Robert Hurlburt
accompanied Brush on the trip to Arkansas
City to take the photos and measurements
that he will need to start sculpting the
The eighth fire engine in the Fire Brigade series was modeled after a 1951 Ford fire engine from Leawood. Every year since they’ve tried to find a truck with some kind of interesting background.
The Buick’s history — it started life as a burned-out robbery getaway car — was a perfect fit.
Brush and Hurlburt were met Feb. 7 by City Manager Nick Hernandez, Fire Chief Bobby Wolfe, ACFD Capt. Chet Ranzau and former city commissioner Jean Snell, who helped to restore the Buick.
Director Jennifer Dreiling and cameraman Jake Johnson, with the Hallmark Photography Studio, accompanied the team and filmed the entire visit for an exclusive production video on the Keepsake Ornament Club collectors’ website.
The team also recorded audio of the Buick’s siren and bell. One of those sounds might be included as part of the ornament design, to be heard when a button is pressed.
In what Brush said was a first for the
Hallmark crew, they even had a chance to
ride in the engine on a short tour of
Arkansas City, with ACFD Firefighter
-Paramedic Cody Ball in the driver’s seat.
“I think your engine will make a really stunning ornament and I am positive that our ‘Fire Brigade’ series collectors will love it as much as I do,” Brush said.
He said he learned about the Buick five years ago while doing internet research for future projects.
In the next month or so, Hurlburt will start sculpting the ornament digitally. Next, a model will be “grown” on a 3-D printer so that the intricate details can be added by hand.
Once it is finished and painted, the resulting model will be reviewed by the Keepsake Ornaments leadership team to make sure it is up to the series’ standards before it finally is approved for manufacturing.
Once all of those steps are completed, production could start late this year or early next spring.
The ornaments will be available in July 2018.
From Getaway Car to Fire Truck