The City of Valparaiso and Valparaiso Fire Department will host a dedication of “Reflection,” a life-sized cast bronze sculpture and tribute to the men and women of the Valparaiso Fire Department who have protected the residents of Valparaiso for more than 150 years. “We’re so grateful to our dedicated Valparaiso Fire Department and eager to dedicate this permanent statue, symbolizing the unending service of these fine men and women,” said Mayor Matt Murphy.
The statue is a rendering of an exhausted firefighter, reflecting on fires he has fought as he holds his axe seated on a bench facing the courthouse and city square. Next to him is “Old Joe,” memorializing a beloved fire dog who served the VFD in the 1930s. The “Reflections” statue is roughly five feet tall and approximately 400 pounds. It is located at the site that served as the Valparaiso Fire Department from the late 1890’s to 1960’s, at 16 Indiana Ave.
The statue’s artist is Ryan Feeney, an accomplished sculptor, Indianapolis firefighter and owner/founder of Indy Art Forge. His sculptures include one of Peyton Manning (currently on display at Lucas Oil Stadium), an eagle atop an I-beam salvaged from the World Trade Center and a sheriff’s deputy (currently on display outside the Indianapolis Sheriff’s Department), among many others.
The statue project was initiated by Fire Chief Chad Dutz and made possible by generous sponsors, including the McMillian Family Foundation, Ms. Patricia S. Crise, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas W. Swihart, Pratt Paper, City of Valparaiso RDC, 1st Source Bank, Walmart, Mr. and Mrs. Chuck Conover and Mrs. Suman Das. The public is invited to attend the dedication.