Connecticut’s Statewide Mandate for Fire Department Turnout Gear Maintenance: Protecting Firefighters with NFPA 1851 and RedLine Gear Cleaning

by | Oct 5, 2023

Connecticut Statewide Model Plan


Firefighters put their lives on the line to protect our communities, and it is our responsibility to ensure their safety and well-being. In a significant move, Connecticut has implemented a new statewide mandate that requires fire departments to adopt a plan for the maintenance and remediation of toxic substances from turnout gear, following the NFPA 1851 guidelines. This blog post explores the urgency of this mandate and highlights the expertise of RedLine Gear Cleaning, the only verified ISP offering on-site advanced cleaning and inspection of firefighter turnout gear in Connecticut.

Understanding the Mandate

Connecticut has taken a proactive stance in prioritizing firefighter health with this statewide mandate. The mandate requires fire departments to develop a comprehensive plan for the maintenance and remediation of toxic substances from turnout gear, aligning with the guidelines established by NFPA 1851. This mandate recognizes the urgent need to address the potential health risks associated with carcinogens and toxins present on firefighting gear.

The Cleaning Guidelines per the report are as follows:

1. NFPA 1851 identifies and defines three primary types of cleaning:

a. Preliminary Exposure Reduction.
b. Advanced.
c. Specialized.

2. Gross or Field Decon pre-rinse shall be implemented before a firefighter removes any firefighting equipment.

3. Advanced cleaning of personal protective equipment should occur every six (6) months or whenever the ensemble is exposed to products of combustion. (NFPA 1851 Advanced Cleaning 7.3.4, 2020 Edition

4. Advanced cleaning should be done by trained personnel or an Independent Service Provider (ISP).

5. For those departments that do NOT maintain a commercial gear washer, a signed interlocal agreement with another agency or contract with an approved vendor must be submitted.

The Role of NFPA 1851

NFPA 1851 serves as a crucial resource and guide for the maintenance and remediation of firefighting gear. This industry standard provides clear protocols for the selection, inspection, cleaning, repair, and retirement of turnout gear. By adhering to these guidelines, fire departments can ensure that their gear remains in optimal condition and minimize the risk of exposure to toxic substances.

RedLine Gear Cleaning: Ensuring a Successful Plan Implementation

Connecticut’s statewide mandate for the maintenance and remediation of toxic substances on turnout gear, in line with NFPA 1851 guidelines, highlights the commitment to firefighter health and safety. RedLine Gear Cleaning’s expertise and status as the only verified ISP providing on-site advanced cleaning and inspection services make them an ideal partner for fire departments aiming to create successful implementation plans. By partnering with RedLine Gear Cleaning, Connecticut fire departments can confidently fulfill the mandate, ensuring their firefighters operate with clean and safe gear, minimizing potential health risks, and safeguarding those who protect our communities.