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Posted: 3/17/2018 10:11:23 PM EDT
Hey guys & girls,

My fire company is looking into getting a washing machine to start cleaning our turnout gear after fire's and such. The idea has been bouncing around for 7-8 months and nobody is really doing anything about it so I wanna get the ball rolling.

My FC is in a rural area that covers about 60 square miles and runs around 225-275 calls a year (I know not alot, but hey isn't that a good thing? ), we probably get 15-25 fires a year (between us & mutual aid) and we average 6-15 FFs each fire (depends on time/day/etc.) so when it does get used it will be run hard.

What are you guys using to clean your gear?
Also can you guys point me in the right direction,
As for budget I really don't know, I need to come up with some options and prices and run it by the Company.

Thanks
Link Posted: 3/18/2018 4:34:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/18/2018 5:22:56 AM EDT by AKFF]
We have a completely different set of washers and dryers in each station for our uniforms and sheets vs our turnouts and EMS gear.

If you aren’t taking a shower and cleaning your bunker gear after every fire you are behind the cancer curve.

We had a local professional company come in and install industrial extractors and dryers with automatic injection of cleaning agents in every station.

Gross Decon can occur with a hose, separate your liners from your shells and wash separately. I’ll see if I can find some of the videos on cancer prevention.
Link Posted: 3/18/2018 5:16:05 AM EDT
You need to look at extractors not washing machines.
Link Posted: 3/18/2018 5:23:17 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By dfd277:
You need to look at extractors not washing machines.
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Extractors. Yes. I corrected my post.
Link Posted: 3/18/2018 2:16:46 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By AKFF:
Extractors. Yes. I corrected my post.
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Originally Posted By AKFF:
Originally Posted By dfd277:
You need to look at extractors not washing machines.
Extractors. Yes. I corrected my post.
What do you guys recommend?

Brands/Models/what?

Give me some ideas I can pass along
Link Posted: 3/18/2018 3:40:11 PM EDT
Not sure about PA but here in OH the Bureau of Workers Comp is handing out grants for extractors left and right because cancer is now presumed to be occupational for firefighters. Might be worth looking into.

Get a big ass, stainless heavy duty one you can do a few sets of gear in at once. And hang dry or use a gear dryer rack, as dumb as it sounds turnout gear in a normal clothes dryer is damaging to it according to the manufacturer.
Link Posted: 3/18/2018 5:56:43 PM EDT
You can get grant money, if you word things properly.

If such a rural low call volume area, you may be able to get a nearby department to go in on the purchase and then agree on a location that both departments can use.

NFPA approved ones have a bunch of settings, sweat and body funk removal, light fire soil, heavy fire soil, chemical exposure, bloodborne pathogen, and I am sure a few others.

They need to be bolted to concrete floors.

Not sure what brand to use, we now send ours out to be cleaned and inspected each time. We have two sets each.
Link Posted: 3/18/2018 8:04:55 PM EDT
Originally Posted By FFMedic:
Not sure about PA but here in OH the Bureau of Workers Comp is handing out grants for extractors left and right because cancer is now presumed to be occupational for firefighters. Might be worth looking into.

Get a big ass, stainless heavy duty one you can do a few sets of gear in at once. And hang dry or use a gear dryer rack, as dumb as it sounds turnout gear in a normal clothes dryer is damaging to it according to the manufacturer.
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Originally Posted By Kubota3430:
You can get grant money, if you word things properly.

If such a rural low call volume area, you may be able to get a nearby department to go in on the purchase and then agree on a location that both departments can use.

NFPA approved ones have a bunch of settings, sweat and body funk removal, light fire soil, heavy fire soil, chemical exposure, bloodborne pathogen, and I am sure a few others.

They need to be bolted to concrete floors.

Not sure what brand to use, we now send ours out to be cleaned and inspected each time. We have two sets each.
View Quote
Thanks for the heads up about grants,

But does anyone know any manufacturers of extractors?
Like I said in my OP, I need information on the extractors themself. Like brands/units/etc.

So far all I have found is Unimac & Milnor for brands. What weight would you recommend? 40lb, 45lb, 60lb, 80lb?
Link Posted: 3/18/2018 8:35:03 PM EDT
Ours is Milnor, probably does 600-700 jobs a year. Been going strong sine 1990.

Does require some PM though like oil changes.
Link Posted: 3/18/2018 8:41:26 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By FFMedic:
Ours is Milnor, probably does 600-700 jobs a year. Been going strong sine 1990.

Does require some PM though like oil changes.
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Do you know what size yours is?

Also how much did you guys pay for it?
Link Posted: 3/19/2018 12:34:53 AM EDT
I can look tuesday when I get back on. We are comparable in size to you. We also let other guys bring their stuff in to wash . You can use that as a talking point to help
Link Posted: 3/19/2018 1:05:41 AM EDT
Extractor, after every tiny fire. Get those contaminates out.
Link Posted: 3/19/2018 9:38:09 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By sefus:
Extractor, after every tiny fire. Get those contaminates out.
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Yes x100
Link Posted: 3/19/2018 6:27:44 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By FFMedic:
Yes x100
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Originally Posted By FFMedic:
Originally Posted By sefus:
Extractor, after every tiny fire. Get those contaminates out.
Yes x100
I know

thats why I'm pushing so bad and need help with it. My FC has a lot of old timers that don't really "believe" about all of that. They know it's a thing but they don't really want to do anything about it.
Link Posted: 3/19/2018 7:06:03 PM EDT
A Milnor or Braun washer/extractor with dryer will be close to 50-60 K. Pit dump valves on some and most need steam. Add NFPA certifications and installation it will be costly. Good luck with your grant. We have to use a bigger town close to us for a real gear washer. But take out liner and do what we can was the old way. Well old way was clean gear = rookie.
Link Posted: 3/19/2018 9:35:14 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By zoe17:
A Milnor or Braun washer/extractor with dryer will be close to 50-60 K. Pit dump valves on some and most need steam. Add NFPA certifications and installation it will be costly. Good luck with your grant. We have to use a bigger town close to us for a real gear washer. But take out liner and do what we can was the old way. Well old way was clean gear = rookie.
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50-60k

Thats going to be a very hard pill to swallow/try to convince the FC. I think after I get some info/prices I'm going to talk to my fire chief about a grant
Link Posted: 3/20/2018 7:40:44 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/20/2018 7:52:54 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By Tango7:
There are commercial washers that also work as extractors that will get the job done. I think ours is a Speed Queen.

While you can spend $40k on one, there are units that will do the same thing for under $7k, you just may have to wash only one set at a time.
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This is correct. Usually 25-35 pound rated.
Link Posted: 3/21/2018 9:58:19 AM EDT
I am on my 4 days off right now or I would go look. We use an extractor and hang dry our gear. Almost all bunker gear will state to not machine dry so no need for that. You wash liners and shells separate and I think we can do 3 or 4 sets at one time. The cycle is fairly quick. For "soap" we use Citrosqueeze and it works well.

We have an extractor in every station, and I think they were in the 7 to 10k range.
Link Posted: 3/23/2018 12:14:49 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By MOMIL:
I am on my 4 days off right now or I would go look. We use an extractor and hang dry our gear. Almost all bunker gear will state to not machine dry so no need for that. You wash liners and shells separate and I think we can do 3 or 4 sets at one time. The cycle is fairly quick. For "soap" we use Citrosqueeze and it works well.

We have an extractor in every station, and I think they were in the 7 to 10k range.
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yeah please when you get back on duty let me know what you guys use

Thanks and stay safe!
Link Posted: 3/24/2018 4:31:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/24/2018 4:34:14 PM EDT by MOMIL]
Ours is a UniMac

Attachment Attached File
Link Posted: 4/1/2018 6:29:14 PM EDT
You don’t want to use an extractor every time. A non-adgitating washer with a mild detergent will clean gear after every fire. Use an extractor a couple of times a year. The high speed extractor will push water through your moisture barrier and break it down. Using an extractor to much will cause your gear to fail inspections. For a department your size look at a good quality front loading washing machine and then send your gear to a 3rd party for advanced cleaning. We pay $50 a set for advance cleaning and they pick it up with less than a 48 hour turn around. Don’t forget about doing a good gross decon on scene no matter what machine you are using. That removes 85% of contaminates right there. Follow that up with washing.
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