Andy Swift's life revolves around the world of firefighting. But why is he so passionate about restoring antique fire engines?

Andy Swift’s life has been immersed in the culture of firefighting. After working as both a professional and volunteer firefighter, Swift now runs Firefly, a business specializing in restoring antique fire engines.

Swift earned his business reputation working with American-LaFrance, a 175-year old company. He says you’ve got to fall in love with every piece you work on, and he does. In this video profile, we can appreciate his passion for his craft.

After the 9/11 attacks when hundreds of firefighters died in New York City, Swift was heartbroken and felt the need to do something to help out. The New York Fire Department offered him the task of restoring a hose wagon from the 1800s, and Swift finished up the job in time for a memorial service for firefighters at Madison Square Garden in October, 2001. Working on the engine and attending the service helped him deal with his grief, he said.

This video featured on The Digital Journalist ( was produced by Coburn Dukehart at the Summer 2008 Platypus Workshop, and was distinguished with the “Best Edit” award. The video includes interviews with Swift, historical photos of fire engines and footage of Swift clearly enjoying himself tooling around town in his antique vehicles.

The Platypus Workshops are intensive 9-day digital video training programs, conducted under the tutelage of decorated photojournalist Dirck Halstead, the editor and publisher of The Digital Journalist.

Length: 4:03

Produced by Coburn Dukehart