(HURON) – Growby’s in Mitchell donated a washer and dryer to the Huron Volunteer Fire Department.
Growby’s delivered the equipment Friday afternoon.
The washer and dryer will be used to clean the firefighting gear at the fire station. Prior to this, department members would have to take their firefighting gear home and wash it in their washers.
Municipal fire departments like the Bloomington Fire Department have washers and dryers at the stations to wash their gear. In addition, the City of Bloomington also purchases the second set of turn-out gear for their firefighters to make sure they always have a clean set available at all times.
There is no way a volunteer fire department can afford to purchase a second set of turnout gear for its firefighters, and some volunteer fire stations do not have washers or dryers to clean their gear. The price of turnout gear for each firefighter is more than $2,000 excluding the Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus and masks they must wear.
The cancer risk for firefighters continues to increase, as fire fighting gear is contaminated with all kinds of cancer-causing agents that expose not only firefighters but their families.
Researchers say the compounds in the smoke and gas byproducts of a fire stick to a firefighter’s turnout gear and increase the chances of them contracting cancer by it being inhaled into their bodies or it being absorbed through their skin. Researchers say proper cleaning and isolation of the turnout gear can dramatically reduce cancer risks.
“We want to thank Growby’s, especially during this time of economic instability, that they have donated the washer and dryer to our department. This is one of many ways communities, businesses, and many organizations all work together,” said Bill Kinser of the Huron Volunteer Fire Department.
The Huron Volunteer Fire Department has been working over the last year to replace their firefighter’s turnout gear and looking at ways to improve firefighter’s health and safety.
The Huron Volunteer Fire Department responds to 100 to 200 calls a year.