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Picture of fire truck with new artwork on side

New artwork for Bedminster fire engine

Avon Fire and Rescue Service (AF&RS) have worked with award-winning contemporary digital illustrator Parys Gardener to produce the new design which was installed onto the truck this week.

Parys' artwork celebrates black history with a nod to the Windrush Generation. Featuring colourful illustrations, the design opens a dialogue on the importance of representing your local community and celebrates what it means to be a firefighter today.

The truck wrapping comes as part of a wider scheme as the Service works to improve its representation of the community. Designs on the side of the truck are inspired by the stories of local people as well as those of serving firefighters, which has resulted in artwork that brings together many themes. The new artwork is part of AF&RS’ work to improve representation within the community and will remain in place for a year on the sides of the Bedminster truck.

Chief Fire Officer at AF&RS, Simon Shilton, said: “This project represents the next step on our journey towards a better future for the organisation and provides a fantastic backdrop for the work that we’re continuing to do.

“The artwork that has been produced is excellent, and has already sparked important conversations both within the organisation and out in our community.”

Artist Parys Gardener said: “Representation is something extremely important to my creative practice across all the work that  do. Looking at an area of British Black history through this particular lens isn't something I had done before so I was really excited to take on this project.

“Two themes that stood out to me from my research were bravery in the face of adversity and the strength found in others within the community.”

With the newly-wrapped fire engine returning home to Bedminster, the Service will continue its work to improve representation. In recent months, fire crews have worked with organisations such as Standing Against Racism and Inequality (SARI) and Babbasa to engage with the community and run familiarisation and recruitment events.

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