The Sounds the Alarm statue of pioneer firefighters in front of Red Deer’s Public library is about to get an overhaul.
Next week, local residents will see a fence erected around the statues of rearing horses and their standing bronze horseman. The wooden fire-wagon the horses are supposed to be pulling will be removed for refurbishment.
The wagon (as well as a second bronze figure of a seated driver that’s bolted to it), will be taken to Sunnybrook Farm, where volunteers will replace the wooden wagon planks that have been weakened by weathering.
Ian Warwick, executive-director of Sunnybrook Farm, said the planks were last replaced in 2008, so the wagon is due for another upgrade. This time, volunteers plan to install thicker three-quarter-inch planks, which should last longer, at a minimum materials cost of $3,000.
The project is expected to take about two weeks to complete.
The statue, created in 1999 by sculptor Robert K. Spaith, has been a popular landmark. But Warwick discourages local residents from doing what one dance enthusiast showed on the Internet —a video of a flash mob dancing on the wagon.
Sounds the Alarm, located at the corner of 48th Avenue and 49th Street, stands next to what used to be Red Deer’s historic fire hall, which was converted into the children’s wing of the downtown public library.
The statue is one of several in the city’s Ghosts Collection. These public artworks portray characters and activities from Red Deer’s past.
Sounds the Alarm is described as depicting the excitement and tension that were a part of firefighting in Red Deer’s early days. “The excited horses in this bronze can hardly be restrained as they are being hitched to the fire-wagon and the driver hurries to throw his coat on.”
For more information about the city’s public art collection, please visit www.reddeer.ca/PublicArt.