A Rapid Response to Gear Cleaning

by | Apr 20, 2021

The way that firefighters handle and manage bunker gear is evolving, as new research around the negative impact of contaminated bunker gear progresses so do the policies fire departments implement. Around the country fire departments are setting new guidelines to ensure the health and safety of personnel. As firefighters, we have seen advancements in gear storage lockers and even advancements in fire trucks designed specifically to decrease cross contamination until gear is ready to be professionally cleaned.

With all these policy changes and increased awareness for proper care and cleaning of gear, it is no surprise that RedLine has seen a rise in ‘Rapid Response’ service calls to clean and decontaminate bunker gear after just one exposure to a major fire.

At the core of our business, RedLine is an NFPA 1851 verified ISP that provides mobile gear cleaning and inspection. We specialize in offering advanced cleanings for NFPA compliance but much of our business comes from emergency calls that are not scheduled and need to be done quickly and effectively.

Fire fighters putting out house fire in a suburban neighborhood

While NFPA 1851 guidelines require firefighter bunker gear to be cleaned by a verified ISP two times a year, there is still a huge need for decontamination throughout the year. Research has found that firefighter gear and equipment exposed to just one major fire can carry harmful carcinogens that have long term negative effects on a firefighter.

It is our recommendation as well as the recommendation of many industry experts that gear should be decontaminated after exposure to every major incident. We urge fire departments with in-house gear extractors to take full advantage of them and clean their gear regularly. While in-house gear extractors are beneficial, there are circumstances when those machines do not have the capacity needed to quickly turnaround gear after a large or sustained fire.

RedLine’s Mobile Extraction Unit® (MEU) has the ability to be deployed to any location in a matter of hours, making it much easier for departments to get their gear cleaned in a timely manner and ready for service.

RedLine has received calls from fire departments at all hours of the day asking that our team come as soon as possible to the firehouse and even directly at the scene of a fire to clean gear before it ever enters the firehouse again, this mitigates the risk of cross contamination. Because our MEU is a totally self contained truck with water and electricity, we are able to set up our cleaning service directly on-site at an incident or at a firehouse.

 As a company owned and operated by firefighters, we are no strangers to receiving emergency calls and rapidly responding. Stop bringing your dirty gear back to the station where firefighters, eat, sleep, and work. Call RedLine to learn more about our Rapid Response service and how you can be prepared the next time you need rapid decontamination.