Giving the walls life

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Lauren Cobin
  • 6th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

What are you doing at 7 p.m. after a long day of work?

For Jay Scott, he’s heating up dinner in the office microwave, writing reports, preparing his painting supplies and turning on some Led Zeppelin.

Scott, a fire inspector assigned to the 6th Civil Engineer Squadron at MacDill Air Force Base is no stranger to the sacrifices firefighters make to serve and protect at all hours of the day.

Firefighters assigned to the squadron frequently call the station a second home and Scott has made it his mission to bring the walls to life, boasting a proud heritage of fire prevention.

A 20-year Air Force veteran with over 30 years of experience in fire prevention, Scott saw an opportunity to pay tribute to those who came before him and share those stories with new Airmen through art.

“For me, it’s about pride,” said Scott. “Taking pride in your work and what you do is so important.”

Recently, he has completed two large-scale murals at Fire Station 1 along with a number of detailed sketches he has gifted to coworkers.

“We all come from somewhere,” said Scott. “These work as great conversation pieces; they bring up stories and good times about what happened back in the day.”

Scott shared that finding time to work on these sizable projects can be difficult, but has been a great way to interact with others during downtimes on shift.

At the station, Firefighters work 60-hour work weeks, a cumulation of four nine-hour shifts and one 24-hour shift. On the 24-hour shifts, most of the station will gather around to watch as soon as they hear his music start to play.

He humbly shares that his work is a team effort. Each night, he looks forward to hearing the interesting ideas and input from those on shift with him.

“I had to inject a little fun into it, of course,” he said. “I had to add the armadillos, the birds and the black snakes because we know those guys are everywhere in Florida.”

Giving the walls life takes time, it's tedious work.

“There are so many little details that I had to improvise and use markers on,” he said. “But you do a lot of that in this job. If you can’t find a way to do something you need to improvise and find a way to make it work.”