HELENA, OH (WTOL) - A local business that has a very specific consumer base has begun to sell internationally. Their products also have a sentimental value to the customers.
Get Hosed, a small business in Helena, "up-cycles" retired firefighting gear. They are now making a big name for themselves within the firefighting and EMS community.
Jay Ernsbergerer, a longtime volunteer firefighter, began using old fire hoses to make wallets and key chains in 2014 and sold them online. He started to get special requests from firefighters and their families to make items out of old turnout coats as well.
"We've had people contact us for their father was a fire chief and or a firefighter and passed away and wanted something to be able to carry with them. So, we'll do stuff like that as well, we let them send in their gear and have a custom item made," Ernsberg said.
The turnout coats have to be retired after 10 years of use, but for many firefighters, the coats hold special meaning with a decade of service.
"The guys just can't believe and even, like I said, my friend yesterday was in tears and he kept saying thank you. And I was like no thank you for letting me chop it up," Jay said.
Get Hosed apparel has grown beyond special orders to general merchandise including original made radio straps and laser cut glass wear.
Ernsberger said they have shipped apparel to Australia, Ireland, England, Spain, Brazil and Indonesia.
Get hosed apparel will be attending this year's Firehouse Expo in Nashville and Jay hopes his growing garage business can soon become his sole full time job.
For more, visit the Get Hosed website.