By: Mike Duyck, President, Emergency Technical Decon
Firefighters are regularly faced with some of the most dangerous and hazardous environments imaginable. Their turnout gear, also known as bunker gear or fire gear, is a critical piece of equipment that helps protect them from the heat, flames, and other hazards that they encounter on the job. However, this gear can become contaminated with harmful substances and chemicals, making it important for firefighters to regularly clean and maintain their gear to ensure its proper performance and to protect their health and safety.
One of the most effective methods for cleaning turnout gear is with Liquid Carbon Dioxide (LCO2) cleaning technology. This game-changing technology provides a thorough and effective cleaning method for firefighters’ gear. Unlike traditional water-based cleaning methods, Liquid CO2 cleaning uses a dry cleaning process that has the power to remove harmful contaminants and carcinogens without damaging the gear or reducing its effectiveness.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has developed a standard for gear cleaning and maintenance, which is NFPA 1851, providing guidelines for the care and maintenance of turnout gear. In the 2020 revision, NFPA updated its guidelines to require two advanced cleanings per year for all firefighters’ gear and put performance requirements on removal of a specified list of foreground toxins during cleaning. This requirement highlights the importance of maintaining clean gear to ensure its proper performance and to protect the health and safety of firefighters.
So why make this a focus?
Cleaning turnout gear is a critical aspect of firefighter safety. Dirty gear is not only less effective at protecting firefighters from heat, steam, and cuts, but it also carries harmful contaminants and carcinogens that can affect their health. To ensure that their gear is properly cleaned and maintained, firefighters should follow best practices for cleaning, including routine, advanced, and specialized cleaning methods.
Once NFPA 1851 standard was enacted, it then became the decision of fire departments across the country to either meet or exceed the requirements. I have never met a fire chief that didn’t say their number one priority was the health and safety of their people, and when it comes to the health and safety of our emergency responders, it feels like a no-brainer to strive to position yourself in the “exceeding” category.
This is where Emergency Technical Decon (ETD) steps up to the line to assist. ETD is a leading provider of turnout gear cleaning services, utilizing the latest Liquid CO2 cleaning technology to provide a thorough and effective cleaning method for firefighters’ gear. Our Liquid CO2 cleaning process can remove harmful contaminants and carcinogens without damaging the gear or reducing its effectiveness. In addition, our technology allows us to provide a faster turnaround time for cleaning services, ensuring that firefighters have access to clean, properly functioning gear when they need it most.
It’s clear – turnout gear cleaning is critical, so why not explore solutions that aid safer and healthier working conditions and tap into proven, advanced cleaning methods such as Liquid CO2 cleaning to get the job done? To perform at their best, firefighters should be equipped with the best.
Want to speak with ETD to discuss your cleaning needs? Connect with us to learn more.