Artist Austin Weishel has been commissioned to construct the exhibit. Autin started sculpting first responders due to his interest and involvement in the police and fire service. In high school, Weishel worked as a student firefighter for the Loveland Fire Department for two and a half years; he subsequently joined Loveland’s student police program. At 18 years of age, he successfully completed one of Colorado’s Fire Academies to become a firefighter. Soon after, he became certified in First Aid, CPR and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Wild Land fire fighting, HAZMAT and numerous other certifications.
Weishel’s transformation from small pieces to life-size works garnered his first commission with the Windsor-Severance Fire Department. He sculpted a life-size fireman, named “Follow Your Heart” at 19 years old.
Today, he continues to combine his two passions for art, sculpting, and firefighting. One of his monuments was created for the National Fire Dog Memorial named “Ashes to Answers”, is a life-size fireman with an arson K-9. The sculpture is located at Fire Station #2 in downtown Washington D.C. “Ashes to Answers” was commissioned by Jerry Means, an arson investigative agent with the Colorado Bureau of Investigations (CBI). “Ashes to Answers” won the most popular monument in Washington, D.C. hosted by the Washington Post in 2014. The memorial is expected to be completed April 2019, unveiled Fall 2019..