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A N.B. high school grad and the gear dryer he built for the local fire department

Click to play video: 'Elgin fire department gets support from Riverview High School graduate to build a fire gear dryer' Elgin fire department gets support from Riverview High School graduate to build a fire gear dryer
WATCH: A New Brunswick high school student has come to the rescue of the Elgin fire station by building a device that will help keep the stations' 26 volunteers clean and safe following fire calls. Global’s Shelley Steeves reports. – Jul 19, 2021

A New Brunswick high school student has come to the rescue of the Elgin fire station by building a device that will help keep the stations’ 26 volunteers clean and safe following fire calls.

“With fires, there are so many carcinogens now that we need to get that washed off right away,” said Elgin Fire Chief Kent Steeves.

It can take days for the gear to dry after being cleaned because the gear cannot be placed in a dryer, Steeves said.

With no budget to buy extra sets of gear to use while the contaminated gear was being cleaned, Steeves said he set out to find someone to build the station a gear dryer.

“I put it out on our Facebook page to see if anyone would like to volunteer or would like to donate,” he said.

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Read more: Firefighting gear stolen from Merry Creek blaze near Castlegar, B.C.

A local high school shop class got wind of his idea and offered to help, he said. Logan Kendrick, an 18-year-old Riverview High School graduate, took on the task as his year-end project in Essential Learning Skills.

“I have been plumbing since I was 13 with my dad and it just seemed to be the easiest thing to do,” Kendrick said.

He said that his teacher lent a hand to build the makeshift fire gear dryer out of PVC piping.

Steeves said the contraption pumps out enough air to dry three sets of gear in a just few hours.

“It works great and our gear no longer has to sit for two or three days to dry now,” he said.

Steeves said that he is also struck by the support from the school and from community businesses that donated the building supplies.

Read more: B.C. wildfire crews unable to attend all new fires during ‘unprecedented’ fire season

“The school donated the labour and the time and we are donating our time to the community to help so it is a win-win for everybody,” Steeves said.

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When other volunteer stations get wind of the idea, Steeves said they just might come calling on Kendrick’s skills too.

Ed. note: Global News’ Shelley Steeves is not related to Elgin Fire Chief Kent Steeves.

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