Dirty Gear Isn't Cool, It's Dangerous
Contaminated protective gear exposes firefighters to potentially life-threatening chemicals, biological agents and particulate matter. If not dealt with properly, soiled protective gear can also pass on contaminants to the public at large. The key to limiting a firefighter's exposure to such hazards is proper decontamination of soiled gear, which after a fire, car accident or similar event, can be laden with life-threatening chemicals, blood, body fluids or particulate matter.
The NFPA puts out a set of guidelines for properly washing and drying protective apparel… and not all methods and are created equal. A careful approach to cleaning gear is critical to proper decontamination and to maintaining the integrity of the protective fabric. For a summary of how Continental laundry equipment is compliant with NFPA 1851 and FEMSA Guidelines, please see our gear laundering recommendations sheet.
For a complete listing of guidelines, visit www.nfpa.org.
Commercial Laundry Equipment for Fire Departments
The Best Way to Clean Gear? A Highly Programmable, Soft-mount Commercial Washer & Air Drying
Industry experts agree highly programmable commercial laundry equipment is key to washing fire department gear correctly in order to avoid damage to the gear itself. Fire departments should use washers offering programmable water temperatures and levels, extract speeds, multiple bath options, and automatic chemical (detergent) injection. They should also be able to program multiple wash actions, cylinder rotation options, and wash time. Continental Girbau's laundry equipment effectively removes contamination from protective apparel—keeping firefighters safe! The front-load washers can automatically inject the right type and quantities of detergents at the appropriate water temperature and level—preventing inconsistent and damaging results.
Why is Continental Girbau's High Performance Soft-Mount Washer Design Critical?
Because you may not have the budget, time or space to install a concrete foundation with reinforcing rebar. With Continental's soft-mount design, fire departments can install their washer in truck bays, utility rooms or storage areas – without bolts and new foundations. The high performance soft mount commercial washers slide easily into place.
Programmability is Key
Fire department gear is costly and should be washed carefully according to manufacturer's guidelines to prevent damage. That means water temperatures and levels, extract speeds, baths and cycle times must be programmable. Using different programs, a fire department can wash a variety of items – turnout suit shells and linings, truck towels, EMS jump suits and more. In use at laundries worldwide for more than 17 years, Continentals' high performance commercial washers feature an easy-to-understand programming system with 79 program selections, including 20 pre-programmed options and 59 user-programmable options.
Once programmed, operators simply choose a program number and the machine automatically blends optimum water temperatures, water levels, chemicals, extraction speeds and cycle time—ensuring quality laundering results.
Commercial Gear Dryers for Fire Departments
Continental ExpressDry Gear Dryers are engineered to safely and quickly dry personal protective equipment, including turnout gear, helmets, gloves, boots, face masks, and self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBA). The dryer works by blowing a large volume of air, at high pressure, safely through the garment—drying even hard-to-reach areas. NFPA compliant, the Continental ExpressDry Gear Dryer accommodates up to six turnout suits simultaneously—ensuring firefighter gear is safely dried and returned to service in hours, not days.
View gear dryers.
Does your Department Qualify for the Firefighters Grant Program?
Each year, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security provides hundreds of millions in grants to help fire departments better protect their firefighters and the greater public. Hundreds of fire departments each year receive funding for new laundry equipment – essential for decontaminating protective gear. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program assists rural, urban and suburban fire departments throughout the United States. Funds are used by the nation's firefighters to increase the effectiveness of firefighting operations, firefighter health and safety programs, new fire apparatus, emergency medical service programs and fire prevention and safety programs.
To find out more about the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program visit firegrantsupport.com.