1. #1
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    Default Sending Bunker Gear to be Cleaned/Repaired

    We are looking into sending our gear to be thoroughly cleaned/repaired/inspected on an annual basis. We have currently found two companies willing to do this at a pretty fair rate (like 35$/cleaning inspecting per set).

    My question is if anyone has experience in this field and does this in their department for their members on an annual/recurring basis. The two companies we have looked at are in PA and Long Island NY. The one on Long Island was expensive and did not have a good turn around time (2weeks in PA). Any feedback or experience you guys have on this would be appreciated.

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    911se.com does it, they're right outside Philly; I think Witmer Public Safety Group (Firestore.com, also outside Philly) does some also. I believe our department uses one of them, but I forget which one for gear. I know Witmer does some technical services for us, such as meter calibration etc. I assume one of them is the PA vendor.

    Our policy is we get two sets of gear and we're supposed to get periodic gear inspections/cleanings. Also after certain types of incidents (member injuries, hazmat contaminations, etc.) our safety office might confiscate gear and repair/clean/replace as needed.
    Opinions expressed are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Philadelphia Fire Department and/or IAFF Local 22.

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    We've had great luck with Fire Service Management. Being in the Detroit area though, you may not want to go that route.

    I'd look into them however. http://http://www.fireservicemanagement.com/
    "Share your knowledge - it's a way to achieve immortality." - Stolen from Chase Sargent's Buddy to Boss program

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    We have a few people on each shift that were trained by the manufacturer to look for defects. If anything is out of normal or needs repair, there is a local lady that can perform all the alterations and repairs. As for cleaning, we do that per manufacturer's instructions as needed or every few months.

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    All or Batt. Chiefs are certified to do the annual inspection. The department bought the equipment to do the complete inspection each year. This is something you may want to look into. Having no idea how many sets of gear you have to have inspected at 35+ bucks/pair that can add up fast. Look into the costs of getting someone in your department certified to do it in house.
    A "Good" fire is not measured by how big it is, but by the fact that everyone is going home safe, and that we possibly learned something new about firefighting. Member:IACOJ

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    Thank you for all the replies. I will look into the places that others have suggested.

    It is not so much the inspection aspects as we are fortunate enough to have fairly new gear on a rotation schedule so we will not have gear 10+ years old. The main issue here is cleaning.

    You can lead a horse to water but can't make him drink applies much like you can supply a firefighter with gear and the resources needed but they usually do not perform the function (of actually cleaning it). Therefore, the department is looking at these places you can send it away to and then we do not have to worry about it.

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    We've had good luck with this company for cleaning and repairing gear. 20 minutes outside Philadelphia. http://www.cleanfiregear.com/index.html

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    If it's just routine cleaning (non-hazmat), what's wrong with using an industrial washer and the manufacturer's instructions? Each of our stations has a heavy duty washer for turnout gear only. If the gear has something substantial that we can't clean (melted roofing asphalt for example) then we may send it out for repair or replacement. The washer is probably about a grand, but they are used after every fire so it saves us money in the long run.

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    A commercial grade washer/extractor can be a bit pricey, but is what you want.

    The labor/safety/OSHA folks are starting to look at contaminated gear as a health and safety issue. Your nearly black (originally yellow) bunkers may make you look like a vet, but there's stuff in that soot that can hurt you.

    Another reason for having a suitable machine available at the station is to prevent your FF's from taking that dirty gear home to wash, or to a laundromat.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

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    We have been using 911 clean for years. They are great and have a fast turnaround. Great repair work too.

    Freds2totherescue.com does excellent work as well. They are in Kentucky though, so the shipping transit time needs to be taken into account. But the work is top notch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SRLFD448 View Post

    You can lead a horse to water but can't make him drink applies much like you can supply a firefighter with gear and the resources needed but they usually do not perform the function (of actually cleaning it). Therefore, the department is looking at these places you can send it away to and then we do not have to worry about it.

    I just wanted to re-itterate the point before this turns into a wash them in an extractor/put an extractor in a grant. We do have a commercial washing machine available to members currently. It is a matter of them actually taking the time to wash the gear at least once a year that we are having an issue with.

    So...to ensure that the gear is properly maintained and cleaned at least annually, we are looking at places that take delivery, clean, inspect, and repair if needed and ship back the gear in a timely manner.

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    Default shamrock gear

    I took a PFT class with a guy just outside of canton OH. He also runs a gear cleaning company I think it is called shamrock gear they have a website and I remember him telling me they had several places ship gear to them to get cleaned. check them out

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    Make cleaning the gear part of being OSHA qualified. In Latham we are required to do a gear inspection and wash it as part of our requirements.
    Stephen J Bourassa
    Latham FD (NY)
    member since 1969
    challenge competitor since 1993

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    Wait until the member has the gear on, then turn the nozzle on them.

    In my mind I keep seeing a scene from MASH, the episode where BJ and Hawkeye refuse to bath due to the music Charles plays. The end result is the camp grabbing them and scrubbing them down.

    Or make it real simple. Set a drill up on gear cleaning. Then put it in the SOPs.
    Have a points sytem or LOSAP program? Make the lack of cleaning a demerit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doorbreaker View Post
    Wait until the member has the gear on, then turn the nozzle on them.

    In my mind I keep seeing a scene from MASH, the episode where BJ and Hawkeye refuse to bath due to the music Charles plays. The end result is the camp grabbing them and scrubbing them down.

    Or make it real simple. Set a drill up on gear cleaning. Then put it in the SOPs.
    Have a points sytem or LOSAP program? Make the lack of cleaning a demerit.
    1) one of my favorite episodes. Now I really want to dig out the DVDs I have and watch a few hours of it.....thanks for that. haha

    2) We have a pretty good policy in place. Every 6 months the gear gets washed, nothing special, in the department washer. Once a year, the gear gets shipped back to Morning Pride (or it's respective manufacturer...we have a few types flying around) for a thorough inspection and cleaning process. If problems are found, the company contacts our quartermaster and the quartermaster makes the decision whether to repair the gear or if it simply would be better to get a new article of gear.

    The above is assuming normal use or abuse. If there are special hazards/obvious damage, the gear gets decommissioned immediately for either replacement or cleaning/repair.

    Funny story: about 5 years back we went mutual aid to a fire in a chemical facility. Because of the chemicals involved, ANY firefighter who went interior at any time had to surrender all pieces of gear, and everything got replaced (helmet, pant, coat, gloves, EVERYTHING....at the chemical company's expense, luckily). Anyway, three of the seven guys we sent were the most senior (in years, not rank) people in our department. They were NOT happy about that. Still don't shut up about it to this day, haha.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fitguy51 View Post
    Make cleaning the gear part of being OSHA qualified. In Latham we are required to do a gear inspection and wash it as part of our requirements.
    Hmmm...not to shabby except now that on top of OSHA we now have Petzl Training as well, we will be lucky if we ever get a chance to actually train before April!

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    Check our Turnout Express in Rochester NY.

    http://www.turnoutexpress.com/services.html

    I havent used them yet but I am looking into them to get some loops sewn onto my pants for an escape harness.
    Shawn M. Cecula
    Firefighter
    IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS

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