Firefighter turns used fire hoses into accessories

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A Cascade firefighter is making accessories out of used fire hoses.

Lance Korhorn launched 'Ladder 34' a few years ago and has since opened a warehouse in Grand Rapids. It currently stores 5,000 fire hoses inside to make products like belts, wallets and bags.

"We recognized that this was a problem everywhere," said Korhorn. "Everyone was sitting on piles of firehouse."

Some fire hoses can be in use for 20 years until they can no longer pass inspections.  Most fire hoses are typically replaced because they break, have leaks, or no longer maintain water pressure needed to fight fires.

"Every piece is unique," said Korhorn. "They have a unique color scheme to them."

Before the accessories are made, the fabric is cleaned and sorted.

"There is a lot of history that goes along with it, and we want people to understand there is a lot of sacrifice that goes along with these products," said Korhorn.

Part of the proceeds also go back to local fire departments in West Michigan, as well as across the country.

"We have an opportunity to help by collecting old, failed material and giving a portion of the sales back," said Korhorn, who estimates about 20% go towards these types of donations.

Currently, Ladder 34 is working with the Leighton Township fire department to hopefully provide mental health services and much-needed new gear.

If you would like to check out their website, you can find it here.

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