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In celebration of its 50th anniversary, HURST Jaws of Life has collaborated with nationally recognized country music recording artist Mark Ware on a song that reflects on and celebrates the grit, guts, heroism and heritage of the firefighter profession. “Firefighter Anthem” will be performed live April 28 at FDIC International with an acoustic rendition by Mark Ware himself at the IDEX Fire & Safety / HURST Jaws of Life booth #1608.

“In celebrating HURST Jaws of Life’s 50 years in the rescue industry, it was only natural to broaden the spotlight to include the firefighter profession and those who have dedicated their careers to saving lives,” said Britt Hawkins, manager, marketing services, HURST Jaws of Life. “Collaborating with the talented Mark Ware allowed us to bring together our legacy with the legacy of the fire service. In its lyrics and sentiment, ‘Firefighter Anthem’ is a testament to the courage of firefighters and the daily challenges they face.”

Ware, Atlanta’s 2019 Country Entertainer of the Year and BMI Southern Rock recording artist, has a special connection to the firefighting industry; He has been a firefighter for 35 years. Ware retired from Georgia Fire Services in 2016 and now serves in a part-time position as training chief for Georgia’s Butts County Fire Department. He began his career as a volunteer with Henry County Fire Department when he was 17 years old, and he spent several years with Sandy Springs Fire Department, both in Georgia. Collaborating with HURST Jaws of Life allowed Ware to bring together two of his passions to tell a story that’s often difficult to articulate.

“It’s hard to describe what we do out there,” Ware said. “In our world, you train to work and work to train; if you make a mistake someone might die; and PTSD is a serious issue for our profession. Yet through it all, there’s this sense of camaraderie and accomplishment. Seeing the impact you can have on a family by being there in their time of need, it's always resonated. So when HURST Jaws of Life approached me about writing a song, the answer was an immediate ‘yes.’ ”

The 50-year-old Ware entered the professional music circuit in full force a few years ago. He considered the idea of a career in music when he was in his 20s but didn’t think the unpredictability of the business could provide him the security, health insurance and stability he needed to care for his newborn daughter. Three decades later, he’s making his dream come true and including “Firefighter Anthem” among his newest releases.

Ware, who says his music style is a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll, and a whole lot of soul, will perform “Firefighter Anthem” live at HURST Jaws of Life’s booth at FDIC International as part of HURST Jaws of Life’s 50th anniversary celebration.

HURST Jaws of Life® founded the modern-day rescue tool industry, with the first tool sold to first responders in 1972. In honor of this year’s anniversary milestone, HURST Jaws of Life has created a custom logo along with commemorative challenge coins and patches that will be distributed throughout the year. As the anniversary campaign looks back on 50 years of saving lives, it also recognizes the family heritage of first responders, where generations of families work together and children often follow in the footsteps of their parents and grandparents. That theme strikes a chord with Ware and is recognized in the song’s opening lyrics, written by Ware and songwriter Bryan Martin.

“This celebration isn’t just about our legacy, but the legacy of generations who have used HURST Jaws of Life,” Hawkins said. “Who better to bring that story to life in song than firefighter and country music artist Mark Ware? It's an honor to partner with Mark, and we appreciate him helping us build up, recognize and celebrate firefighters everywhere.”