HASTINGS, Minn. — For one Hastings family, firefighting runs in the family. That’s why Zachery Bloomstrand decided to restore an old fire hose reel as part of his Eagle Scout project.
Bloomstrand's great-grandfather, Albert Bloomstrand, was the first in the family to serve in the Hastings Fire Department from 1936 to 1964. Albert’s son, Steven E. Bloomstrand, and grandson, Steven T. Bloomstrand, followed in his footsteps and served in the fire department as well.
Zach’s brother, Jacob, currently serves in the Hastings Fire Department, making that four generations of family members serving the community.
Steven T. Bloomstrand, who also serves as Scoutmaster for Zach's troop, commented on his son's achievement.
“Zachery, congratulations,” he said. “This was a tough one. This was a hard project — almost overwhelming, but we did it. I’m proud of you.”
Fire Captain Jamie Stevens also had a few things to say.
“We would just like to thank Zach for all his hard work. This started out early 2019 with approval from the city council and some funding from a retired firefighter,” Stevens said. “With Zach, Steve and his grandfather’s help, we were able to put this together. So we’re honored to have it restored.”
When it came for his turn to talk, Zach regaled how he went about restoring the old fire hose reel, which took a couple months to complete.
“I’d like to thank my father and grandfather for having skills in welding and carpentry that really helped out with the project,” he said. “I’d say the hardest part was finding the wheels. Originally, we were going to repair the old ones, but we realized they were way too damaged for that. So we had to look for a company that made wheels.”
They managed to track down a company in Mitchell, S.D., that made wheels, so him, his dad and grandfather all went down and picked them up.
“Overall, I really like how my project turned out, and I’m glad it turned out well,” Zach said.
Afterwards, his two brothers Jake and Ben, who are also Eagle Scouts came up to help pin his new badge on his uniform.
The restored fire hose reel will be kept on display at the Hastings Fire Department once the building sets up a spot for it.