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  1. #1
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    Question Used Bunker Gear

    Hi,
    I just started the fire academy with my local department and they issued us used bunker gear. They told us to only carry it in the trunk of our cars, and not to take it into our houses. They told us they were saying this because we didn't know what kind of stuff was on them, and where they'd been recently. I want to know people opinions on this. Is it really something to be worried about? I'm pretty sure all this stuff has been washed before they gave it to us (except the helmets). If any of you take your gear home with you, do you bring it into the house? And if it really is something to worry about, should I worry about the clothes I wore under the bunker gear being contaminated? Just a note, they issued us used gear that meets current NFPA rules, but most of it has been used to the point where they will not issue it to a line firefighter because it is worn out. They issued us new gloves and hoods, but used helmets, trousers, coats, and boots.

    Thanks for your ideas on this


  2. #2
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    My FD issues "gentky used previously worn gear" to the probationary firefighters going through the Academy. They get their new gear when they start on shift after graduation..

    We replace 1/3 of the department's turnouts on a rotating basis. The older set goes into reserve, gear that will not pass inspection is torn up and disposed of.

    The reason they don't want you to bring it in the house is the fact that you may be tempted to wash it at home in the family's washing machine after a day at burns. If you take a flashlight and look in the tub of the old Maytag at home, you will see a bit of water reflecting the light in it, as the pump does not get all of it out. Let's say you did a flammable liquid burn as part of your training. You decide to wash the gear in the family washer...

    any contamination that was on the gear willget washed out, except for the trace amounts left in the bottom of the tub... then wifey throws in a load of the kid's clothes...

    Turnouts need to be cleaned in an extraction washer.

    If the gear is worn properly, it will be protecting you from the potential "nastya**badstuff" in the gear. If you have any doubts, wash the uniforms in the extraction machine.
    ‎"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."
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    My FD issues "gently used previously worn gear" to the probationary firefighters going through the Academy. They get their new gear when they start on shift after graduation..

    We replace 1/3 of the department's turnouts on a rotating basis. The older set goes into reserve, gear that will not pass inspection is torn up and disposed of.

    The reason they don't want you to bring it in the house is the fact that you may be tempted to wash it at home in the family's washing machine after a day at burns. If you take a flashlight and look in the tub of the old Maytag at home, you will see a bit of water reflecting the light in it, as the pump does not get all of it out. Let's say you did a flammable liquid burn as part of your training. You decide to wash the gear in the family washer...

    any contamination that was on the gear will get washed out, except for the trace amounts left in the bottom of the tub... then wife throws in a load of the kid's clothes...

    Turnouts need to be cleaned in an extraction washer.

    If the gear is worn properly, it will be protecting you from the potential "nastya**adstuff" in the gear. If you have any doubts, wash the uniforms in the extraction machine.
    Not only what the Chief said above......But your wife or significant other will have you sleeping on the couch, when she goes in and washes and the items get ruined... Not a pretty site.

    T.J.

  4. #4
    makes good girls go bad BLSboy's Avatar
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    Leave it in your garage. You dont want the methylethylbadsh*t to be released in your car either.
    AJ, MICP, FireMedic
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  5. #5
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    Seems to me they should have had it cleaned before re-issuing it. Then again, maybe they don't care about bloodbourne pathogens. Then again, maybe they don't care about hygiene in general. By all means do not wash it at home either. They have special machine with special detergents to wash this stuff.

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber N2DFire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    If you take a flashlight and look in the tub of the old Maytag at home, you will see a bit of water reflecting the light in it, as the pump does not get all of it out. Let's say you did a flammable liquid burn as part of your training. You decide to wash the gear in the family washer...

    any contamination that was on the gear will get washed out, except for the trace amounts left in the bottom of the tub... then wifey throws in a load of the kid's clothes...

    Turnouts need to be cleaned in an extraction washer.
    As an addendum to this - most if not all TOG manufacturers recommend against using the traditional style agitator washer aka the top loader (which most home units are) because (get this) - it's to harsh on the weave of the fabrics.

    A "lift & drop" style (more commonly known as a front loader) is what you should use IF and only IF you don't have access to a true TOG washer/extractor.

    Also - a purpose built extractor will spin at higher RPM's during the "draining" cycles thus pulling more moisture (and "bad stuff") out of your gear than a residential unit.

    As for the not bringing it into your house, it is perhaps because as new recruits they don't expect that you will have properly cleaned & decon'ed your gear after use until such time as they teach you how to do this, so to limit the ever popular liability - they don't want you dragging "bad stuff" into your home.
    Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
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  7. #7
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotTrotter View Post
    Seems to me they should have had it cleaned before re-issuing it. Then again, maybe they don't care about bloodbourne pathogens. Then again, maybe they don't care about hygiene in general. By all means do not wash it at home either. They have special machine with special detergents to wash this stuff.
    What an "insightful" and "thought provoking" comment. Are you really that much of a/an (insert your favorite expletives deleted here)?
    ‎"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

  8. #8
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    Here ya go Trotts.

    Have another look.
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    Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

  9. #9
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    thanks for the info
    I had no intention of washing it in the home washer anyway, not after looking at some of the other threads on here
    also, thought I might as well ask this here as well, the helmet that I was issued has the attachments for a face shield on it. (i have a bullard PX) they are secured with 2 screws in brim on the side. are these something that will end up staying in or is it a possiblity to be able to get them removed? our department is moving away from face shields to goggles

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