Sedgwick County firefighter’s invention helps save valuable time

SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) — A Sedgwick County firefighter’s invention is helping to save first responders valuable time.

Sedgwick County Fire District 1 Lieutenant Nathan Helten invented the Handy Hook.

Helten says the idea for it came back in 2018 when he wanted a better way to hold his fire gloves.

“There’s only been a couple of methods that people have used in the past, and it’s wadding them up in a pocket or strapping them up with a leather strap. I never was happy with that. I always thought there was a better way,” said Helten. “So, I designed these hooks that mount on your bunker gear and then hold your gloves until you’re ready to put them on.”

Handy Hook (Courtesy: Kansas Department of Commerce)

He says putting on fire gloves using a Handy Hook only takes about 2 seconds, compared to taking 5-10 seconds using other methods.

“Speed is a big aspect of what we do. We pride ourselves in getting ready and getting to a scene and operating as quickly as possible and as safely as possible,” said Helten.

Helten says he created 100-150 styles of prototypes using a 3D printer that he tested at the station before finalizing the design.

The Handy Hook is now made of injection molded plastic right here in Wichita.

“I put some decals on them, we put them together and ship them out of my house,” said Helten.

Helten says he has sold over 3,000 Handy Hooks throughout the United States and in Australia, Canada and Europe.

You can buy a Handy Hook on