When a firefighter rips his or her uniform, repairing it isn’t quite as simple as ironing on a patch. Although it used to take weeks or months of waiting and thousands of dollars to repair their gear, the firefighters at the John B. Glaser Fire Station in Shawnee can have everything fixed in a few days.
Capt. Andy Fenstermann, who has been a firefighter for Shawnee for seven years, was the first to take on the task of learning to repair firefighting gear. And it’s not quite as simple as many might think. At the time, Fenstermann had pants that needed to be fixed.
“I actually approached the chief with, ‘Hey, can my mom just fix these?’ And he said, ‘No.’ So I did a little bit of research and found that most manufacturers for the gear will teach you how to sew and certify you in fixing your own bunker gear for your department, and they’ll do it for free,” he said.