1. #1

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    Default Decon in the kitchen sink !!

    Im arguing with a Chief and the safety committee about guys using the kitchen sink to clean their scba masks. Am I alone in thinkin this is wrong ? I filed a notice of injury/illness. My inhouse safety committee has done nothing. Any advice,referals to online materials or wisdom on this subject is welcome.... If your child visited the firehouse and swallowed glass or fiberglass because some yahoo used the kitchen to wash his gear, would you find the department responsible ?
    Last edited by fire1041; 08-11-2009 at 07:30 AM. Reason: TMI

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    I agree with you, deconning of SCBA masks shouldn't happen in the kitchen sink. I don't even wash my hands after EMS calls in the kitchen sink, I use the bathroom sinks.

    Do you guys not have a utility sink anywhere? If I were you I'd inquire with OSHA or whatever state administered program you fall under and see if there is any regulations relating to this issue. I don't know if there is.

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    Thought that is what the kitchen sink was for.
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    We have a designated bucket that is in our utility room. It has labeled on it in magic marker "SCBA mask cleaning only" or something like that. That bucket is only used for cleaning masks in the utility sink. Cheap solution to your problem.

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    Call OSHA. No way is it acceptable to bring pathogens in to a food prep area. Call the IAFF if your Local can not handle it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    Thought that is what the kitchen sink was for.
    Yeah what he said! Scrubbing your helmet there as well?

    What about cleaning fish and stuff like that. Can you use the kitchen sink for that? Old fish heads and tails!!
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    We would never use the kitchen sink to decon our masks. We use the ditch water behind the firehouse.
    I can't believe they actually pay me to do this!!!

    One friend noted yesterday that a fire officer only carries a flashlight, sometimes prompting grumbling from firefighters who have to lug tools and hoses.
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    No, that's what a utility sink is for.

    Food prep area should be totally different. Call OSHA and IAFF.
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    Wink

    Do you at least rinse out the sink after cleaning the masks and before cleaning the suction unit?

    What's for dinner???

    I can't believe that you are argueing with the Health and Safety Committee about something as basic as this!
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."

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    Next time the bathrooms are full or you just can't make it that far, just take a leak in the sink and see what he thinks about it. At least urine doesn't have carcinogens (I don't think).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    Next time the bathrooms are full or you just can't make it that far, just take a leak in the sink and see what he thinks about it. At least urine doesn't have carcinogens (I don't think).
    ROTFLMAO!!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    Next time the bathrooms are full or you just can't make it that far, just take a leak in the sink and see what he thinks about it. At least urine doesn't have carcinogens (I don't think).
    Only does if you ate asparagus...

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    Default Turn out / bunker gear in living areas/quarters ?

    Does anyone have policies that address wering or bringing gear into their stations? I know we see the dudes on "Rescue Me" lounging in the day room and walkin through the grocery store in their turn out/bunker gear, but does anyone really do that ?

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    most of the stations i've been in (including my own) have shop sinks for cleaning masks and other stuff, but smaller houses may not have one of these.

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    That must be one dirty-*** sink....gross. You sure those chuckleheads from Burger King haven't been sneaking over at night and taking a bath in there?
    IAFF

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    I have never read anything about NOT wearing bunker gear above the apparatus floor but its an unwritten rule not to wear it in areas that other congregate in or eat in. We do wear it to the supermarket.

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    So sinks and dishes can't be rinsed?

    Are we seriously debating this?

    Let me add a bit.

    If your mask is that caked with crap when you get back to the station, you are an idiot. On scene, you have plenty of water. You should have rinsed the big stuff off while still there. You also should have brushed the big stuff off your gear with a scrub brush before putting it back in the cab. Getting that soot or whatever it is off the outside of the mask is easy--toothpaste will do it--and that can be done at the station.

    Buy a scrub brush. Keep it in a little kit in the cab, along with some work gloves, safety glasses that you'll never remember to wear, a multi-tool of some sort, a clean but cheap towel and whatever sundries you like. Clean the tools and your gear of the big stuff on scene, unless you like cleaning the crap off the tools, out of the compartments and cab and off the slab or apparatus floor. Jesus, people.
    Last edited by johnny46; 08-07-2009 at 12:10 PM.
    Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyirons2 View Post
    I have never read anything about NOT wearing bunker gear above the apparatus floor but its an unwritten rule not to wear it in areas that other congregate in or eat in. We do wear it to the supermarket.
    Apparently it's out there. The new protocols at my career department dictate that bunker gear does not leave the apparatus bays except to be washed. The only time we can wear our gear into another building outside of a response is if we've just left a fire and are responding to a medical call. If we need to run to the store, we have to change into our duty boots.

    It's even written that our uniforms can't go home with us due to cross-contamination issues.

    I can't remember what all the cited, except for NFPA 1500, but they had all kinds of information for when some of the guys started complaining.

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    I'm not that worried about somebody rinsing their mask in the sink. We wash our sink out a couple of times a day when we do dishes.

    I just hate it when you catch somebody digging in their crack or blowing their nose while they are cooking and they don,t wash their hands.

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    A kitchen is a food prep area, not a equipment cleaning area. Is it really that hard for whatever FD you work for to put in a utility sink? There are chemicals and other crap on on your face piece even if you rinse it before, no reason to bring that into the kitchen.

    If its ok to do it because the sink gets "rinsed" enough during the day, I should be able to dump the mop bucket in the sink, take a leak, clean tools, clean the blood off of equipment after an ems run, etc etc.

    Just use a utility sink, its not that hard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    If its ok to do it because the sink gets "rinsed" enough during the day, I should be able to dump the mop bucket in the sink, take a leak, clean tools, clean the blood off of equipment after an ems run, etc etc.
    Probably it is okay.

    Since there is all manner of hideous crap on the food we prepare, it's obvious that the area can be cleaned enough that we are not constantly sick. However, biological threats, if not washed properly, multiply. That's the difference between chemicals and biological threats. It's easier to dump a mop bucket outside on the ground than lift it to the sink, and the crap in there can be harder to wash down the sink. There's quite a bit more of it than on the typical plate.

    The problems are psychological and sociological rather than real. But that's enough to set behvioral rules.
    Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

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    Would you wash dishes in the utility sink if you didnt have to?
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    I wouldn't wash dishes at all if I didn't have to.
    Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

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    We use the utility sink to wash our mask, as for the kitchen sink that is for food and hands. Each to his own i guess. however our hot water is by far hot enough to kill off anything that grows. It even takes off skin and hair.

    As for the bunker gear question is it not normal to wear your bunker pants to ems calls in the middle of the night or throw your coat on when it is cold as hell or raining.

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    First I would just flat-out refuse to do it. "I am sorry (Loo, Cap...) but I will not potentially contaminate the food we eat by washing the masks in the sink. Write me up if you have to, but I won't do it."

    Now, if he writes me up, how fast do you think Department Management will quash it and make it all go away? Additionally, I bet a slop sink mysteriously appears in short order, and maybe even an SOP for washing masks.

    On a side note, at my volly house, when we built our new station (god...18 years ago now!!!) we had an enclosure built off to the side of the bays, it's approx. 10x8, it has 5' high walls on three sides and a 10" curb in the front. There is a drain, and the water spigot has a standard stem, plus there is one of those commercial-kitchen style nozzles that go up on a spring-thingee that you can use to rinse off stuff. Has hot water plumbed to it. It comes in real handy, especially in the winter when you get off the rigs from a cold winter job, and you are all iced up, you just walk over to the "stall" step in and hot water yourself off. This is where we wash our masks using the three-bucket hot water method.
    Last edited by FWDbuff; 08-08-2009 at 10:38 PM.
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