Dirty PPE is a firefighter’s worst enemy
Personal Protective Ensembles (PPE) is a firefighter’s life support system. It includes a coat, pants, hood, helmet, boots, and gloves, as well as a breathing apparatus, and a personal alert safety system (PASS) device.
PPE protects firefighters from serious injuries or illnesses, and from the hazards they face every day. Over time, dirt, soot, bodily fluids, and debris build up on the turnout gear and become flammable, toxic, carcinogenic, and/or pathogenic to anyone exposed to the protective ensemble or ensemble elements.
It is no longer a badge of honor to wear dirty turnout gear. By not cleaning and removing all the byproducts resulting from smoke deposits and condensed residue trapped in fibers from everyday exposure on the job, first responders are at a greater risk for long-term medical issues as well as increased risk on the job from flammable contaminants.
Xeros offers a revolutionary and proven wash system to clean soot and contaminants from personal protective equipment. The cleaning is so powerful that extensive pre-soaking is not necessary 80% of the time, reducing time and cleaning costs.
The Xeros Fire solution includes:
The Xeros system uses recyclable polymer beads to clean textiles rather than the traditional method of using massive amounts of hot water. By combining the beads’ molecular structure with a proprietary detergent solution, the beads attract and absorb dirt from soiled items, delivering superior cleaning results, which are gentler to the earth and the PPE elements.
While cleaning protective ensembles is a complex process, the various cycles and formulas used in the Xeros polymer bead cleaning system come pre-programmed and pre-packaged, making the Xeros machine fully automated and extremely easy to use. In addition, the Xeros system uses technology that allows for variable load sizes without having to add additional clothing to satisfy a pre-determined weight requirement as required by most front-load washers.
By replacing hot water with stain-absorbing polymer beads, the Xeros laundry system cuts the amount of water used in each load by up to 80% and attains a 50% reduction in energy usage. Because its proprietary detergent formula takes full advantage of the unique cleaning properties of the polymer beads, detergent usage is reduced by 50%. The polymer beads are also eco-friendly and are used hundreds of times before being recycled and re-used by other industries.
Xeros polymer bead cleaning allows you to meet the cleaning requirements of the following standards and regulations:
MarKen PPE Restoration, an Independent Service Provider (ISP) for the fire industry, specializes in the inspection, cleaning, and repair of personal protective ensembles (PPE) and ensemble elements used for structural, proximity, wildland, technical rescue incidents, and emergency medical operations’ applications. MarKen helps fire departments across the country maintain a high level of protection for its turnouts, maximizing their performance, safety, and life span.
Prior to using Xeros to clean firefighters’ PPE, MarKen used a traditional wash system, which they found serviceable but very expensive. Extensive pre-soaking was necessary for elements with heavy soot and smoke; this would take 48 hours. Since installing the Xeros system MarKen has reduced pre-soaking by 80%, which allows them to process turnout gear faster and reduce cleaning costs. Additionally, because the elements are not going through the pre-soaking process they are able to prolong the life of the firefighters’ elements.
With Xeros, turnout gear comes out cleaner than with our previous wash process which used an extensive pre-soak; this is a testament to the performance of the Xeros system. “The positive feedback from customers was immediate. They quickly noticed a difference in the texture, smell, and appearance of the fabrics. Remarkably, Xeros was able to remove stains that our other machine could not. Because the customers’ response was so affirming we purchased another machine and have now gone full force with Xeros. All of our customer orders are being cleaned with Xeros and we have had nothing but excellent feedback from our customers,” said Joey Beeman, MarKen Operations and Safety Manager. Read the MarKen case study.