Decontaminating Firefighter PPE

Firefighters risk their lives to protect others, but many people don’t realize that flames and smoke are not the only threats to their health and safety. During and after battling a blaze, firefighters can be exposed to harmful carcinogens that can have lasting health effects if not handled appropriately.

FEMA study showed that infrequent cleaning of PPE allowed toxic compounds to accumulate, potentially exposing future users to carcinogens through skin contact or (less likely) inhalation. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and Fire Protection Research Foundation formed a task group to identify the best procedures for cleaning PPE that has been contaminated.

Be Proactive About Protecting Your Firefighters

Firefighter carcinogen exposure is a serious issue and all possible steps should be taken to reduce risks. Regularly cleaning and decontaminating fire protection gear helps reduce exposure to potentially harmful chemicals. The 2020 version of NFPA 1851 Standards now require that Fire Departments must clean every set of gear they own twice a year and inspected once a year.

With a goal of helping to protect our fellow Firefighters from secondary exposure to toxins and carcinogens, Emergency DECON Services has partnered with REDLINE Gear Cleaning and Inspection to offer cleaning, disinfecting, and decontaminating services for Firefighters’ PPE.

Emergency DECON Services is excited to offer REDLINE Gear Cleaning and Inspection Services to Fire Departments on Long Island. Here’s why:

  • REDLINE’s mobile extraction unit (MEU) is a commercial truck that comes directly to your Firehouse. All cleaning services are conducted on-site and on your schedule. Your firefighter’s turnout gear never has to leave the premises.
  • Our industry leading, proprietary turn-out gear cleaning and inspection service offers a realistic approach to cleaning, disinfecting and decontaminating your Firefighters’ PPE in order to help protect them from secondary exposure to dangerous toxins and carcinogens. All gear including helmets, hoods, jackets, gloves, pants, boots, and hand tools are fully cleaned to NFPA 1851 standards.
  • Each mobile extraction unit is equipped with all necessary equipment to decontaminate, clean and sanitize 20-30 complete sets of gear at a time.
  • We use DECON7 in our cleaning process which is not only a detergent, but also a chemical neutralizer and detoxifier. An independent University study determined that DECON7’s advanced formulation outperformed the manufacturer’s recommended detergent in eliminating Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) and Organophosphate Pesticides and Esters (OPE) from turnout gear. D7 not only removed more toxic chemicals, it also performed chemical detoxification, prolonged turnout gear service life and better maintained the gear’s original integrity.
  • All waste water is neutralized during the cleaning process, reclaimed and properly disposed of after each assignment.
  • All turnout gear is inspected pre/post cleaning by our team of trained professionals. A written report is submitted according to NFPA 1851 standards.


Whether it be after a major incident, training, part of your twice a year scheduled cleaning or putting new turn-out gear into service – REDLINE and Emergency DECON Services are here to work with your Department.

Our comprehensive and specialized cleaning services include:

  • Inner Shell PPE Gear Cleaning
  • Outer Shell PPE Gear Cleaning
  • Cleaning of Hoods and gloves
  • Outer Shell Drying
  • Tumble Drying – Inner Shells
  • Ultrasonic cleaning of helmets

Reasons why you should have your PPE cleaned:

  • NFPA 1851 requires Firefighters PPE to be cleaned twice a year and inspected once a year
  • Helps to reduce contaminant absorption risk
  • REDLINE uses DECON7 which is proven to prolong the service life and maintain the original integrity of your turn-out gear.
  • Oil, grease and hydrocarbon deposits can cause PPE to ignite
  • PPE heavily contaminated with hydrocarbons are more likely to conduct electricity
  • Reflective trim may become less visible

Please contact EDS If you would like to learn more about REDLINE First Responder Gear Cleaning & Inspection Services or any of our other products and service offerings.


Some Information was reposted from the DECON7 Systems 6/16/2020 Power of D7 Blog.


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