Brooklyn Park Firefighter Helps Streamline Gear-Cleaning Process
The Brooklyn Park Fire Department is going through a dry spell — and that’s a good thing. Inside the Central Station firefighters are raving about their new custom equipment dryer.
“We certainly weren’t the first person to do this,” said firefighter Mike Christian. “Certainly won’t be the last.”
Thanks to Christian’s creativity, the city now has a gear dryer that airs out three uniforms at a time after firefighters battle a blaze.
“There’s not a lot of engineering to it,” Christian said. “It’s a series of PVC pipes with a fan basically channeling air where we need it.”
Christian built the device by studying pictures and refined the dryer by adding extra touches, including wheel so it could roll anywhere. Just a few weeks ago Brooklyn Park’s drying techniques were much more crude.
“You would see gear hanging off of mirrors and handles and bumpers and off the corners of storage racks,” Christian said. “It would basically be hanging everywhere just to get air dried.”
The drying process used to take between one and a half to two days. Now the uniforms air dry in four to five hours.
The gear dryer is also more uniform-friendly.
“You can’t put that in a regular dryer like we would our clothes where you are tumbling that with heat,” Christian said. “Believe it or not the tumbling and the heat breaks down the protectiveness of it.”
So far, Christian’s fire equipment dryer is a hit in the firehouse.
“Yeah we’re content,” Christian said. “In fact I think the plan is to build one more for each of our other stations.”
It’s also cost effective, saving the Brooklyn Park Fire Department a lot time and money.
“I estimate it at $750 to $800 to build this ,” Christian said, “versus even a smaller one at $5,000 or $6,000.”