Is your fire department still cleaning its SCBA by hand?

Sponsored content from RESCUE Intellitech

By: Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer

I’m betting that in your home you and your family are keeping it clean, healthy, and happy using:

  • A vacuum cleaner or vacuum system to keep your carpets clean
  • A powered scrubber (e.g., Swiffer Wet Jet) to keep those floors in your kitchen and bathroom spotless
  • A washer machine and dryer to keep your clothes clean

Modern conveniences like these have reduced the time we all spend on these household tasks, and they do a much better job than brooms, mops, and washboards!

So, why is your fire department still cleaning its SCBA by hand, using soap and water in bucket and a brush?

SCBA is a Significant Investment

Today’s SCBA is a combination of several advances in technology (e.g., computerized user console and in-the-mask thermal imaging capability) and design that makes it hardly recognizable to SCBA of just thirty years ago (When most SCBA was still pretty much an air cylinder mounted on a backpack with two regulators and a facepiece.

And all those technological and design advancements have made SCBA one of the more expensive equipment purchases that any fire department makes. When I did a quick search of the Internet for “cost of self-contained breathing apparatus,” my search yielded prices ranging from $10,000+ (The MSA G1 FS SCBA) to $3,000 (3M Scott 30-minute SCBA).

Doesn’t that kind of investment in advanced SCBA technology deserve advanced SCBA cleaning technology? Advanced cleaning technology that:

  • Has been designed specifically for the safe, effective, and efficient cleaning of an SCBA unit;
  • Has been reviewed by SCBA manufacturers (e.g., MSA North America) and approved for use in cleaning their products;
  • Ensures that the last SCBA unit cleaned after use at a fire is as clean as the first SCBA unit cleaned;
  • Reduces your fire department’s expenses for water and cleaning agents; and
  • Reduces the risk of secondary exposure to the chemicals, chemical compounds, and carcinogens—that SCBA gathers when use by firefighters to suppress fires in today’s structural fires—to those firefighters when they clean SCBA with soap and water and a brush.

SoloRescue SCBA Cleaning Machine

If all the above makes sense to you, then shouldn’t your fire department be using the SoloRescue SCBA Cleaning Machine from RESCUE Intellitech?

SoloRescue was designed by a Swedish firefighter and is manufactured to exacting Swedish engineering standards, so your fire department can feel confident in both its capability to do the job the way you’d do it and keep doing it for many years.

The SoloRescue SCBA Cleaning Machine (And so much more!)

And just like you can for a washer/extractor machine for your PPE coat and pants, you can apply to the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program for a grant to fund the purchase of your SoloRescue.

What the SoloRescue Can Do for Your Fire Department

The SoloRescue provides a safe, effective, and efficient method for the thorough cleaning of two SCBA units in just 8 minutes! And the amount of time that a firefighter is potentially exposed to any hazards on the SCBA is during the two or three minutes required to load the SCBAs and facepieces into the machine’s interlocking cleaning chamber.

Cleaning Helmets, Gloves, and Boots

And that’s not all. Your fire department can see an even greater ROI (return on its investment in the SoloRescue) because the same machine can safely, effectively, and efficiently clean a firefighter’s helmet, gloves, and boots—everything that can’t be cleaned in the washer/extractor machine that your department probably already owns.

Just change the loading rack from the SCBA Rack to the two-piece Equipment rack, load up the gear (e.g., helmets, gloves, boots), push the START button, and after only three minutes your gear is clean and ready for drying (The SoloRescue has a separate 3-minute cycle specifically for cleaning equipment other than SCBA). Using the SoloRescue machine, it’s very doable for one firefighter to clean:

  • Up to 12 helmets per hour (Using one Equipment Insert Rack) or 24 helmets per hour (using two racks).
  • Up to 80 pairs of gloves per hour (one rack) or add a second rack and clean up to 160 pairs of gloves per hour.
  • Up to 30 sets of boots per hour. Add that second rack and you can clean up to 60 pairs of boots per hour.

Want even more ROI for your SoloRescue? That same 3-minute wash/rinse cycle can also be used to clean small hand tools, portable gas monitors, and about any equipment that’s water-resistant and fits within the Equipment Rack properly.

SoloRescue Can Save Your Fire Department Money

What fire department these days isn’t looking to reduce the cost of their operations in these challenging economic times? The SoloRescue can significantly reduce your fire department’s expenditures for:

  • Cleaning Agent. With its pipe-in detergent line, SoloRescue ensures that the proper amount—and only the proper amount—of cleaning agent is used for each and every cleaning cycle.
  • Water. The Solo Rescue SCBA Washer has a 29-gallon reservoir that captures water from the wash cycle to reuse during the next cycle (Each rinse cycle uses fresh water from a second dedicated water inlet).

SoloRescue is Good for the Environment

You can also consider a SoloRescue as a piece of “green” technology for your fire department. Depending upon the degree of cleaning necessary for PPE, a firefighter can get three or four wash cycles completed using the recycled water from that 29-gallon reservoir, so the total amount of water used is minimized. And that’s good for the environment and for fire departments serving areas where water can become a scarce commodity.

To learn more about the Solo Rescue SCBA Washer, CLICK on the logo.

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