Fire captain transforms old helmets into works of art
Danville Fire Captain Billy Scearce has created 400 pieces of art out of retired fire helmets
By FireRescue1 Staff
DANVILLE, Va. — A veteran fire captain has found a way to turn retired fire helmets into lasting pieces of art.
WSET reported that 30-year Danville Fire Department veteran Captain Billy Scearce has refurbished more than 400 fire helmets, which he has been collecting since 1987.
Capt. Scearce was inspired to create art out of the helmets after seeing a New York Jets helmet 15 years ago.
"Kind of take them, strip them down and give them new life," he said. "I never realized it was going to be such a big hit.”
The helmet art is designed by Capt. Scearce and then airbrushed by his partner, Jimmy Presley. He charges around $300, which pays for the helmet and painting equipment.
Thanks to @cityofdanville Firefighter, Billy Scearce for letting me inside his home to see his collection of refurbished firefighter helmets!— Itinease McMiller (@IMcMillerNews) June 27, 2018
Instead of getting rid of outdated helmets Scearce gives them new life.
He's designed about 400 helmets for folks across the county. pic.twitter.com/jsMOu6VZ4C
The first helmet Capt. Scearce made was for his chief officer.
"I did him a Harley Davidson helmet and gave it to him as a gift, and he still loves that helmet," he said.
Capt. Scearce now gets orders from all over the country, most of which are requests for sports team logos.
He said his favorite designs, however, are in remembrance of 9/11.
"The 9/11 helmets [are my favorite] because I actually worked during 9/11 and know a lot of those New York firefighters and it's just got a lot of meaning behind it," he said.
This is Scearce's favorite helmet.— Itinease McMiller (@IMcMillerNews) June 27, 2018
He says he worked during 911 so for him this helmet has a lot of meaning behind it. pic.twitter.com/xVPUi3HniK
This is his memorabilia room. Scearce says he's been collecting items since the start of his careers in 1987.— Itinease McMiller (@IMcMillerNews) June 27, 2018
The first helmet he repurposed was made into a Harley Davidson helmet.
Scearce designs them and his partner Jimy airbrushes them. pic.twitter.com/lvlqIvB2lr