Gear dryer installed at Wadena Fire Department

No more putting on wet gear for Wadena firefighters.

A gear dryer was installed in the south hall of the Wadena Fire Department last week to assist in speedy drying of fire fighter gear. Submitted photo

Wadena firefighters are adding to their arsenal in ways that improve their safety and comfort thanks to a new gear dryer installed last week.

The dryer was delivered and installed at their south fire hall thanks to a Minnesota State Fire Marshal’s Office Grant that they received last year. Total cost of the project was $10,345 with 10% of those funds coming from the city budget.

"This is a vital piece of equipment for our firefighters as within the past five years we purchased a gear washer to clean dirty and soiled firefighter gear from toxic chemicals and other hazardous matter keeping our firefighters safe," according to a Wadena Fire Department news release. The gear dryer will allow for a faster turn around on drying gear, as firefighters have had to air dry their gear in the past, which took almost 24 hours. If gear does not properly dry, it can fail due to mold growth.

The dryer is said to safely and quickly dry up to six sets of turnout gear and accessories using ambient air drying. The device was designed by a firefighter and is a firefighter-owned company.

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