Tyler Fire Chief sends customized ‘Ben Franklin’ style fire helmet to Polish counterpart
JELENIA GÓRA, Poland (KLTV/KTRE) - An early Christmas gift just arrived at the main fire station in Tyler’s sister city in Poland.
The commander of the fire brigade in Jelenia Góra recently unboxed a customized American-style fire helmet, a symbol of gratitude from Tyler Fire Chief David Coble.
In late September, Coble was part of a small group of representatives from the City of Tyler and the Tyler Sister Cities Organization that visited Jelenia Góra on a diplomatic mission.
Coble spent time touring the city’s fire departments, inspecting fire and rescue apparatuses and other emergency response equipment.
“While we were there, the guys just sort of welcomed us into their house. They showed us both of the fire stations there in the city. And I just felt that camaraderie that firefighters feel -- that brotherhood when you are around each other.”
Coble and Commander Andrzej Ciosk also discussed the idea of establishing an exchange program for firefighters in the two cities after discovering they have much in common.
“You know, we’re all here to help people. He’s there in Poland. That chief is there to build the best fire department he can for the people in Jelenia Góra, in Poland. And I’m here in Tyler doing the best we can for the citizens here in Tyler. And just the fact that we have a common goal. And that’s to serve others.”
Tyler and Jelenia Góra have been cooperating as sister cities for nearly three decades.
In appreciation of his hospitality, Coble sent Ciosk a decommissioned fire helmet once used by the Tyler Fire Department. The unique helmets, with a signature lip on the back, are named after the father of the American fire service, Ben Franklin, who began a fire brigade more than 200 years ago.
“Europe wears a motorcycle-style fire helmet. So they don’t have anything like what we have here in United States,” Coble said. “I knew he probably couldn’t get anything in Poland like that.”
The helmet is white, a color signifying a fire chief. The front features a custom-made leather emblem with lettering of the city’s name and ‘Guardian of Poland.’
The Polish and American flags are affixed to the back of the helmet above the shield of the Tyler Fire Department.
“In the fire service, memorabilia is something that we hold onto in our lifetime,” Coble said. “If you go in almost any retired firefighter’s home, you’ll find a room or an area in a room that has some fire memorabilia in there. And I hope this is something he’ll treasure and keep for a lifetime.”
The box also contained several shirts from the Tyler Fire Department.
Earlier this Fall, KLTV & KTRE anchor Lane Luckie traveled with a delegation from the City of Tyler to its sister city in Poland to get a closer look at ties between the two communities and the impact of citizen diplomacy. Click here for more coverage.
Copyright 2022 KLTV. All rights reserved.