MHS student creates, welds hose drying rack for Muscatine Fire Department

Muscatine Fire Captain Andy Summitt stands with Muscatine High School welder Landon Castle in front of the hose drying rack Castle created. [Submitted]

The Muscatine Fire Department was looking to purchase a hose drying rack for Station 2 that would eliminate the need to haul hose up to the central fire station for drying. The problem was the high cost of the unit if purchased through traditional sources.

After staff had requested the hose drying rack, Captain Andy Summitt, who is the captain on the Operations Shift for the Muscatine Fire Department, said that he began thinking of most cost-effective ways to secure the rack.

“I did the school to work program and independent welding when I was at Muscatine High School,” Summitt said. “I just thought that about returning it back to the school, let them weld it for us, save some money, and provide the students experience welding stuff like this.”

Up stepped Muscatine High student Landon Castle who was assigned the task of creating and welding the hose drying rack by his teacher Bryce Lightner.

“The fire department had something that they wanted to recreate, something that they were going to buy,” Castle said. “So, I just copied the design, for the most part, from what they were going to purchase.”

Castle spent 45 minutes, five days a week, over the course of the last several months, designing, fabricating, and welding the rack.

“He read the blueprints, designed stuff, and we let him kind of fabric his own ideas into the rack,” Summitt said. “We are very happy with the way it turned out.”

The rack will be stored at Station 2 where it will help with the fire training academy that is located at the Station located off of Stewart Road in the southend of Muscatine.

“The rack will let us wash the hose down there and not have to transport the hose back downtown to dry,” Summitt said.  “We will be able to keep it all in house.”

The rack will also be a storage area for the hose that can be taken down and used to teach new recruits simple hose rolls and other hose handling techniques.

“When the lesson is over, they will just put the hose back on the rack,” Summitt said.

Summitt also said that he hopes to continue working with the welding class at Muscatine High School.