Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service investing in protecting firefighters against contaminants

Dräger has supplied a suite of mechanical cleaning equipment for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service’s new purpose-built breathing apparatus training centre to deliver consistent levels of equipment disinfection and hygiene.

Lancashire’s £4 million training centre, based in Chorley, will provide the latest facilities and training to firefighters in the county. It includes a network of classrooms and workshop areas where delegates will learn how to prepare, operate and service self contained breathing apparatus or SCBA. Facilities include a purpose-built dirty-to-clean layout designed to minimise the spread of, and exposure to, contaminants during the removal of equipment and changing out of personal protective equipment (PPE).

The mechanical cleaning equipment is designed to clean, disinfect, and dry SCBA and face masks, to ensure that equipment is ready and safe for both training and incident use. Mechanical cleaning machines mitigate issues relating to inconsistencies in manual cleaning, such as the amount of detergent used, water temperature, etc. and optimise the removal of carcinogens and other harmful germs and contagions. They also help to further the life span of SCBA, by protecting materials used.

Dräger’s Cleaning Solution package includes Harstra’s Wash 9DR and Wash 6DR mechanical cleaning machines and M45 drying cabinet.

The compact Wash 9DR stainless steel cleaning machine is an automatic solution for cleaning breathing masks that has low water and energy consumption. The Wash 6DR is designed for higher volumes of complete breathing apparatus, including full face masks, compressed air breathing apparatus, helmets and back plates (without the cylinder). In-built dosing pumps ensure consistency of cleaning, and the high-pressure 4-sided bayonet nozzles maintain water pressure during the cleaning process, preventing moisture from getting into equipment. Two compartments prevent cross-contamination and during washing the doors are electrically locked. 

Rod Steele, Station Manager at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, says the service has been working with Dräger for more than 10 years. He explains, “Our SCBA equipment is manufactured by Dräger, and because the company is leading its field in cleaning and disinfectant, it was obvious that we also procured cleaning equipment from Dräger. We’re extremely happy with the new facility and proud that it helps to enhance the safety of our firefighters.”

Liz Millward, Marketing Manager Emergency and Rescue Services at Dräger Safety UK added, “Lancashire’s breathing apparatus school is unique for the fact that it is purpose built, enabling them to design ideal workflows that limit spread and exposure to carcinogens and other harmful and contagious germs from used kit. Mechanical cleaning equipment helps further this goal, and it is excellent to see it being promoted in such a prominent new firefighting facility.”  

Photo credit: Dräger.