Butler County RTA Honors Firefighters.

May 17, 2024

Hamilton, Ohio – The Butler County Regional Transit Authority plans a moving tribute to firefighters from around the state with a newly wrapped bus honoring our local heroes.  

Jennifer Eickelberger, the talented artist behind the 2021 StreetSpark design, Charge the Line, on the Hamilton Professional Firefighters Union Hall, brings her artwork to life on a BCRTA bus during the four-day Ohio Association of Professional Firefighters biennial conference.

 BCRTA will unveil the newly wrapped bus at 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, at the hall (204 North Third Avenue, Hamilton, Ohio 45011). Eickelberger will be on hand, along with representatives from BCRTA, StreetSpark, Hamilton Professional Firefighters, and the Fitton Center for Creative Arts.

 “BCRTA is thrilled to honor our heroes in a truly innovative and dynamic way,” said Shawn Cowan, Director of Customer Care and Public Engagement at BCRTA. “Showcasing art on our buses through the StreetSpark art program provides a unique opportunity for all community members to experience and appreciate these inspiring artworks firsthand.”

President Tony Harris of Hamilton’s Professional Firefighters Local 20 said he’s excited for his colleagues around the state to see the bus.

 “We are honored to have this StreetSpark mural, which already means so much to us, placed onto a BCRTA bus for even more to see from all over the City of Hamilton and Butler County. We cannot thank the organizations involved enough. We are so excited to see this unveiled for everyone.”

 Conference attendees from all over Ohio get their first look at the bus at 5 p.m. as they arrive at Union Hall for the statewide hospitality event hosted by their Hamilton counterparts.

 The bus parades to the Courtyard Marriott at 6 p.m., where the public can see it parked alongside RiversEdge Amphitheater during the firefighter-sponsored Scotty Bratcher concert scheduled for 7 p.m.

 “The thin red line represents the courage firefighters show daily,” Eickelberg said of her design. “There are 13 stars to represent the 13 firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty for the Hamilton Fire Department.”

 “We’re incredibly proud to partner with BCRTA again for a project of this magnitude,” said Ian MacKenzie-Thurley, executive director at the Fitton Center, which oversees the StreetSpark mural program. “We have the utmost respect for our first responders.  With firefighters from the entire state here for the conference – which is exciting and important for Hamilton in and of itself – we wanted to help show our appreciation for all they do to help keep us safe every day.”

 This is the third collaboration between StreetSpark and the BCRTA in recent years.

  Founded in 2016 in partnership between the Fitton Center, the City of Hamilton, and the Hamilton Community Foundation, StreetSpark furthers the city’s creative identity through exciting murals and public art projects. The program creates engagement by producing high-quality art, providing opportunities for local artists, and enhancing the city’s visual appeal.

 For more information about StreetSpark please visit https://www.fittoncenter.org/streetspark.