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Monday, September 23, 2019

Funding for Turnout Gear Washers, Extractors, and Dryers

Co-written by Troy Walsh and Rob Boe

The change in the fire service culture has been remarkable. Once viewed as a badge of experience, the dirty, soiled, sooty turnout gear of the past is no more. The dirty gear is now viewed almost like a hazardous materials site that needs to be properly cleaned up as soon as possible.

To quote from the Department of Public Safety press release: “Studies continue to show that firefighters are acutely exposed to known carcinogens during structure and other fires and are continually exposed via turnout gear that is soiled due to exposure to toxic combustion byproducts.” That exposure extends well after the fire and while the gear is hanging in the station.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety — with funding from the Fire Safety Account, through the Fire Marshal Division — has authorized a $400,000 matching award program for an eligible fire department to purchase the specialized washing and cleaning equipment required to remove the toxins from the turnout gear. This is a matching grant program and initial applications must be in by October 15 at 4 p.m.

Questions should be directed to Nolan Pasell at (651) 201-7218 or nolan.pasell@state.mn.us.

Applications can be found online.

Reminder: The Minnesota Fallen Firefighter Memorial is Sunday, September 29.

Up next: Minnesota Fallen Firefighter Memorial Service

Stay safe,
Rob

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