The Northshore Fire Department has new equipment to ensure firefighter safety thanks to a Hometown Heroes contest sponsored by Ram Air Gear Dryer.
The company’s dryer, worth $8,500, helps decontaminate firefighters’ equipment after they battle a fire.
“There’s been a big push in decontaminating gear,” NFD Deputy Chief Eric Magnuson, who entered the contest on behalf of his department, said, adding most equipment has to be air dried to safely and adequately get rid of the carcinogens. “My fire department knew about the benefits of gear dryers, but we didn’t have the funds to purchase one yet.”
Magnuson said the process to dry out equipment can take days, but the dryer they won can have the gear ready to go again in three and a half to four and a half hours, according to Ram Air Director of Sales David Adams, who presented the dryer to the department last week. The dryer can hold four complete sets of equipment at a time.
“Now we can get back into our best equipment as soon as possible,” Magnuson said, adding that everyone has a backup set of equipment should two incidents occur in close proximity.
This is the first time Ram Air held the Hometown Heroes contest, which drew 2,500 entrants, Adams said. It was open to employees, volunteers or retirees from any fire department in the United States or Canada. The company plans to hold the contest again, launching it at the 2017 Fire Department Instructor’s Conference in April.
“As a firefighter-owned company, we have a sincere appreciation of preserving the safety of firefighters and those they serve,” Ram Air President Lance Dornn said in a statement. “Our gear dryers help reduce the risks associated with dirty, wet gear, and as such, we are thrilled to give Northshore Fire Department the tools they need to ensure the safety of their firefighters.”