Eagle Scout Builds Drying Rack to Help GRFD

Eagle Scout Builds Drying Rack to Help GRFD

Eagle Scout Hunter Rushing presented the drying rack he built to the Green River Fire Department on September 21. Courtesy photo

GREEN RIVER — Eagle Scout Hunter Rushing recently earned his rank by building a drying rack for the Green River Fire Department’s (GRFD) gear.

A press release from the GRFD said soot and smoke becomes imbedded in a firefighter’s bunker gear when they fight fires, and that soot releases carcinogens like sulfur dioxides and nitrogen oxides into the air. Over exposure to carcinogens can lead to coronary heart disease, asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory illnesses, making it important to wash the gear often.

However, the amount of time it takes to dry the gear is consuming. That’s where Rushing’s Eagle Scout project will help the department. Rushing built a drying rack that will substantially cut the drying time down.

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“I wanted to do something that would help the fire department because they help people in our community,” Rushing told SweetwaterNOW. “The drying rack idea was brought up by one of the GRFD firefighters as something that would be very useful to them.”

Rushing first presented his idea for a drying rack to the department at a weekly training in early June and immediately started putting his plans together.

“I showed them two different models of bunker gear dryers that I found on the internet,” Rushing said. “I used those for the base of my plan but we ended up doing things a little different from the plans because I thought it would make the rack better.”

After the fire department decided the project was a great idea, Rushing researched for the cost of all the supplies and gave them the estimate.

“GRFD Captain Austin Rider volunteered to be my point of contact at the fire department for this project and he was awesome to work with during the whole thing,” Rushing said.

The fire department approved the cost of the project at their next meeting and Rushing got to work. He said that most of the supplies were purchased locally, however he couldn’t find some of the PVC fittings and a blower. They had to order those items online, which took some time to arrive.

“Once we had all the parts, I talked with my grandpa for permission to use the shop behind his house to keep the supplies until we could get started, and to use the shop for the building of the rack. In the end it took me about three months to finish,” Rushing said.

After three months of work, he presented his finished project to the GRFD and demonstrated how it works on Sept. 21.

“Seeing the faces of the firefighters when I demonstrated and presented the drying rack to them was very rewarding to me. It made me feel like I did something good for them and I gave a little back to my community,” Rushing said.

He said he became a better leader through the project, as he had to take on tasks such as organizing times for all of his volunteers to work on it, in addition to planning the project and construction.

“I think the hardest part for me was finding a good time to start building the project because my family was very busy during the summer and finding a good time for us, and all the volunteers, was a bit challenging. I had to learn how to do the planning of the project, get all the materials and get all my helpers together to help build the rack. I haven’t had to do all of that before and learned there is a lot to it,” he said.

During the construction, he broke his volunteers up into two different groups to make the build more efficient.

“It was hard for me to keep an eye on both of them all the time to make sure they were being safe and building the project right,” Rushing said.

His favorite aspect of the project was the build itself, as he enjoys using wood and tools to make things.

The GRFD said it’s thankful for Rushing and his idea, as well as the commitment to helping keep their firefighters safe. Rushing also expressed gratitude for everyone who helped him get the project finished so he could earn his Eagle Scout rank.