Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    SW MO
    Posts
    4,249

    Default Cross Contamination of Duty Uniforms

    Our department has recently changed it's uniform and PPE guidelines. The reason for doing so is to address cross contamination issues.

    Basically, our bunker gear can only be worn on calls involving fire, MVA's, and such. The use of bunker gear on a medical call is prohibited due to exposing the persons in the home to the stuff on our gear. So, during night med runs, we have to put on our uniform instead of just throwing on our bunker gear.

    At the same time, they have restricted the uniforms so that they cannot leave the stations unless we're on duty and it's being worn, and they must be washed in the station's washer (the same one we wash bunker gear in). A number of guys prefer to take their gear home so that they can wash it there and iron the uniforms and what have you. There is also some concern in regards to washing it in the same washer as we do our bunker gear, despite the fact that we are to run a "blank load" consisting of a bleach/soap solution prior to washing uniforms (we don't have extractor washers, just front load residential machines).

    Of course, there are guys who have no problem with this and there are guys that are bent out of shape. As a result, our union is looking into the various aspects of this policy and what backing, or lack thereof, may exist (a nonbiased approach, mind you).

    Does anyone know of any research out there that cites or dismisses cross contamination of this sort, any requirements of having to alot additional time for people to dress (we have to be on duty at 0700, but have to be at the station and dressed before that time leading some to believe they should pay us an additional 15 minutes prior to shift change), or anything else that may relate to this kind of thing? Even other SOP/SOG's that we can look at to compare would be appreciated.


  2. #2
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!
    Posts
    13,554

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    Our department has recently changed it's uniform and PPE guidelines. The reason for doing so is to address cross contamination issues.

    Basically, our bunker gear can only be worn on calls involving fire, MVA's, and such. The use of bunker gear on a medical call is prohibited due to exposing the persons in the home to the stuff on our gear. So, during night med runs, we have to put on our uniform instead of just throwing on our bunker gear.
    Unless you run a fire every shift, this isn't a problem. I am surprised that they are worried about cross contaminating the patient's home... have they forgotten some of the s**tholes that they used to and we respond to? The turnouts provide another layer of "protection".

    At the same time, they have restricted the uniforms so that they cannot leave the stations unless we're on duty and it's being worn, and they must be washed in the station's washer (the same one we wash bunker gear in). A number of guys prefer to take their gear home so that they can wash it there and iron the uniforms and what have you. There is also some concern in regards to washing it in the same washer as we do our bunker gear, despite the fact that we are to run a "blank load" consisting of a bleach/soap solution prior to washing uniforms (we don't have extractor washers, just front load residential machines).
    Turnout gear manufacturers recomment the use of extraction machines.

    Doing a "blank load" sounds like a waste of water and electricity... and if someone tosses in the bleach/water solution and doesn't run the cycle through... the next schlub's uniorms will be ruined.

    Of course, there are guys who have no problem with this and there are guys that are bent out of shape. As a result, our union is looking into the various aspects of this policy and what backing, or lack thereof, may exist (a nonbiased approach, mind you).

    Does anyone know of any research out there that cites or dismisses cross contamination of this sort, any requirements of having to alot additional time for people to dress (we have to be on duty at 0700, but have to be at the station and dressed before that time leading some to believe they should pay us an additional 15 minutes prior to shift change), or anything else that may relate to this kind of thing? Even other SOP/SOG's that we can look at to compare would be appreciated.
    It seems that the powers that be have a tad too much "book smarts" and not enough "street smarts".

    Using their analogies and taking them to the nth degree, one would have to shower and change uniforms after every run.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    indianapolis
    Posts
    5

    Default

    I'm in agreement with Gonz. Our dept. tried to do something like this some time ago and it was finally dropped.
    I guess alot of it depends on what kind of area you run in. Most of the time our bunker gear is much cleaner than anything you will find in most of these houses.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. SCBA - Eliminating cross contamination?
    By Dave404 in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 09-13-2006, 12:28 AM
  2. Methamphetamine Contamination in Homes
    By MethLabClean1 in forum Montana
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-15-2005, 11:19 AM
  3. SCBA Air Contamination
    By CANFF2706 in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-09-2003, 11:05 AM
  4. SCBA Cross Contamination
    By Lt. Tryg in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 09-09-2002, 11:33 AM
  5. Protective Station/Duty Uniforms
    By cpthunt in forum Career/Paid Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-20-2000, 02:51 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts