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Hillsborough County Fire Captain puts out fires and puts up art work

<i>WFTS via CNN Newsource</i><br/>Captain Brady is about to enter his 20th year as a Hillsborough County firefighter
Willingham, James
WFTS via CNN Newsource
Captain Brady is about to enter his 20th year as a Hillsborough County firefighter

By Robert Boyd

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    TAMPA, Florida (WFTS) — Hillsborough County Fire Captain Devon Brady lives a large-scale life. From riding shotgun in a big-engine truck to putting up a huge art installation at a museum, he wants ABC Action News viewers to know that you can do both.

“I started out an art major, I went through art school at USF, then I worked at a theatrical design company for about 10 years,” said Brady.

However, his outlook on the future changed, like so many Americans, on Sept. 11, 2001.

“I remember specifically watching a story about a woman who lost her husband in the towers, and she said, ‘I never thought this would happen to me, we met in art school, and my husband was a sculptor, and he became a firefighter later in life,’ and something about that was interesting to me,” said Brady.

Fast forward to today, Captain Brady is about to enter his 20th year as a Hillsborough County firefighter, but his zest for creating art has never been extinguished.

“There are people who kind of know there is this other side to me and people who are surprised by it but everybody is generally interested and think it’s a cool thing that I got this other thing going on,” said Brady.

Over the years, Captain Brady’s installations have been featured all over Tampa Bay, most recently at The Fairgrounds St. Pete.

“These are big immersive environments, things that surround you in 360 degrees; there is usually some kind of motion component in it, there is often a sound component, a lighting component, so it’s kind of every facet of sculpture and installation artwork,” said Brady.

He has even gained a fan base among his fellow firefighters at the station.

“Oh, it’s cool working with a superstar, man, love it,” said firefighter Davin Stranger.

Captain Brady said, “It’s healthy to have more than one passion. To have some kind of interest, a hobby that you can do outside of this is a great thing, and I think that everybody, not just firefighters, needs a healthy creative outlet.”

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