Thread: Gear washing

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    Default Gear washing

    I am wondering if anyone has an SOP for washing turnout gear with an extractor at your stations? Thanks
    Lilyogi

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    Quote Originally Posted by lilyogi View Post
    I am wondering if anyone has an SOP for washing turnout gear with an extractor at your stations? Thanks
    Not sure exactly what you're looking for, but we require guys to use extractors and not the regular machines. Several of our stations have them, so they just take it to one if it's not at their station.
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    Wash after every fire or every 3 to 6 months.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fyrmnk View Post
    Not sure exactly what you're looking for, but we require guys to use extractors and not the regular machines. Several of our stations have them, so they just take it to one if it's not at their station.
    Same here. It's not a mandated "every so often" washing, but a judgment call. If your gear is dirty or contaminated, you wash it. I washed mine today after a fire yesterday where my gear (and every tool, airpack, and facepiece we used) was contaminated and soiled with all sorts of petroleum products. Mainly motor oil and transmission fluid.

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    i e-mailed you some info

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    Quote Originally Posted by fyrmnk View Post
    Not sure exactly what you're looking for, but we require guys to use extractors and not the regular machines. Several of our stations have them, so they just take it to one if it's not at their station.
    What is the difference between an extractor and a regular machine?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    What is the difference between an extractor and a regular machine?
    An extractor uses extra G-forces to remove excess water, thus reducing the amount of time & energy required to dry.

    We have UniMac extractors, seems like I recall reading where one model got up to 90 G's of force in the spin cycle.

    Make sure the temperature setting on your washer/extractor doesn't exceed 120°F. Going higher than that can damage some of the liner materials. I know that sounds crazy but exposing the shell to hot ambient air is way different than exposing all the components to hot soapy water.

    Also, make sure you only use a front loading machine, and only use liquid soap. And use the soap sparingly, or you'll make more suds than a High Expansion Foam Exercise.

    Our turnout washing GOG:
    VII. Care and maintenance of Protective Clothing

    A. All members issued protective clothing shall be responsible for the care and storage of his/her PPE while on or off duty.
    B. Turnout gear shall be laundered every six months or as indicated by use.
    C. Turnout gear contaminated at a hazardous materials incident shall not be laundered unless approval is obtained from the department Safety Officer.
    D. The following procedures shall be utilized when cleaning turnout that has been soiled during normal fire fighting operations:

    1. All turnout gear will be washed at Stations that have a specialized washing machine for turn out gear, including gloves, Nomex hoods, and helmet liners. Special laundry bags are available at Stations with turn out gear washers for the purpose of cleaning gloves, hoods and helmet liners.
    2. For bunker coats and pants, the individual name shall be placed inside the flap at the closure. Other articles, such as hoods, gloves and suspenders shall be labeled. A black permanent marker shall be used for labeling.
    3. All items shall be removed from the pockets of the bunker gear prior to sending it for cleaning.
    4. The inner liner of the bunker coat shall be removed from inside the outer shell. After removing the liner all closures on the front of the coat shall be fastened. Shoulder pads shall be removed prior to sending the bunker gear for cleaning and shall remain at the station.
    5. The inner liner shall be removed from inside the bunker pants outer shell.
    6. The closure, on the front of the pants shall be fastened upon removing the liner.
    7. No turnout gear, including gloves and hoods, shall be mechanically dried.
    8. Personnel assigned to laundering equipment, either bunker gear or other PPE, shall review the instruction manual supplied with the machine.
    9. Personal protective equipment contaminated with blood or other body fluids shall be properly identified and cared for in accordance with procedures established in the Department’s Infection Control Policy.
    Last edited by txgp17; 11-22-2008 at 04:39 PM.
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    If my gear is contaminated with nasty stuff, I'll have it sent out to be cleaned. If it is just smelly from being wet (rain, etc), I just wash it at home. I have a front loading washer and dryer with controllable temperature so works fine.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    If my gear is contaminated with nasty stuff, I'll have it sent out to be cleaned. If it is just smelly from being wet (rain, etc), I just wash it at home. I have a front loading washer and dryer with controllable temperature so works fine.
    Washing at home is a bad idea.

    Gotta run, add more later......

    EDIT>>>
    You hit the nail on the head in the post below.
    Last edited by txgp17; 11-22-2008 at 12:29 PM.
    The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of 'liberalism' they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened. --Norman Mattoon Thomas, 6 time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America

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    I know all the risks. I might contaminate my washing machine and therefore contaminate my own clothing. It may not pump all the nasty water out. Etc etc etc.

    I know what's on my gear and I won't put it in my washer if it is contaminated with something I don't want in my house. I'm talking about after you've been out in the rain all night and and a few days later your gear smells like a wet dog. There nothing going in my wash that doesn't go in there if I was out in the rain with jeans and a t-shirt. I also know my washer and dryer can handle it.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by txgp17 View Post
    Also, make sure you only use a front loading machine, and only use liquid soap. And use the soap sparingly, or you'll more suds than a High Expansion Foam Exercise.
    B]
    True dat.My request to my old department for pictures of a "senior command rank officer"(that's as much as I am allowed to identify him)
    cleaning up an overdose of detergent has been met with chilly silence after the order to vacate the premises or else.
    The situation was found after he loaded his stuff in the brand new machines and left to respond to a medical back up.
    "Mrs Brady,I think the suds are calling you!" for anyone remembering an episode of "The Brady Bunch".

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    The reason you use an extractor or front load as opposed to a traditional top load with an agitator is that the agitator destroys the gear. The most important part of our gear besides the outer shell is the liner, that liner is basically a blanket for insulation and a vapor barrier which really protects us from steam burns. That agitator destroys the liner.

    Washing your gear at home although is your own choice is just disgusting and dangerous. Even if you think it just smells like mold or mildew who knows what can be in those fibers. I wont even wash my clothes from work at home, too many downright nasty things are in there and no one else should be exposed.

    Isnt their an NFPA standard on gear cleanings?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyirons2 View Post
    The reason you use an extractor or front load as opposed to a traditional top load with an agitator is that the agitator destroys the gear. The most important part of our gear besides the outer shell is the liner, that liner is basically a blanket for insulation and a vapor barrier which really protects us from steam burns. That agitator destroys the liner.

    Washing your gear at home although is your own choice is just disgusting and dangerous. Even if you think it just smells like mold or mildew who knows what can be in those fibers. I wont even wash my clothes from work at home, too many downright nasty things are in there and no one else should be exposed.

    Isnt their an NFPA standard on gear cleanings?
    NFPA 1851: Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting, 2008 Edition

    http://www.nfpa.org/aboutthecodes/Ab...sp?DocNum=1851

    7.1.7 Soiled or contaminated elements shall not be brought into the home, washed in home laundries.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyirons2 View Post
    Even if you think it just smells like mold or mildew who knows what can be in those fibers.
    Who knows? Me. Because I'm the only one that wears it and I know where it has been. Like I said, I don't wash it at home if there is anything on it that I wouldn't want tracked into my home. Wet smelly gear from being out in a storm is not dangerous and disgusting.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    Who knows? Me. Because I'm the only one that wears it and I know where it has been. Like I said, I don't wash it at home if there is anything on it that I wouldn't want tracked into my home. Wet smelly gear from being out in a storm is not dangerous and disgusting.
    The problem is that you don't know if sending it out, or washing it in an extractor actually gets rid of everything in there. Sure you might be taking it home because you've been out in the rain, but what about that fire a couple months back? There may still be some remnants of the products from that fire, even if the gear appears clean. I'm no expert by any means, but I wouldn't trust that extractor/cleaning services are getting rid of everything in those fibers.

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