Station wear deserves the same care as PPE

Published On: May 8, 2020

We’ve always known the importance of clean laundry. One need only look to laundromats being listed as essential businesses through this pandemic for evidence of that fact. Firefighters, who stand on the front lines of the fight are certainly well aware of the increased pressure to launder PPE – having adopted protocols mirroring NFPA 1851 guidance following a fire call. 

The bottom line is that laundry is, and will continue to be, paramount to keeping first responders and their patients safe.  

However, where industrial washer-extractors and drying cabinets can carry the load for heavy bunker gear, this isn’t a total solution. Just as PPE is being washed more often, station wear, towels etc. should receive equal attention. 

This is where light commercial washers and dryers come in to play. While resembling home laundry top load and front load washers and dryers, inside, heavy duty components, metal transmissions and commercial construction ensure they are up to frequent use. Having this additional equipment offers greater peace of mind that contaminants aren’t going home with firefighters. 

Similar to hotels employing large capacity machines for the majority of laundry loads and utilizing smaller “pony” machines for lesser volume items like uniforms or mop heads, the same strategy can keep loads flowing in the firehouse, while keeping the ranks (and their families) safe. 

Having a two-prong approach to laundry ensures the proper/right-sized equipment is being used for the correct loads. While we will inevitably emerge from the current crisis, a prudent approach to laundry will remain. Utilizing light commercial equipment will deliver clean results and keep station wear items separate from the more soiled/contaminated. 

To learn more, get in touch with your local expert.