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Westfield Washington Township Trustee Danielle Carey Tolan announced today that the Township has recently purchased new and essential fire protection equipment for the Westfield Fire Department. Specifically, the Township purchased a personal protective gear wash extractor and dryer, which is critical in protecting our firefighters from fires and against deadly carcinogens which can penetrate protective gear.
The equipment was purchased for Station 82, which was built by the township 23 years ago. Westfield Washington Township is responsible for fire protection for the unincorporated area of town; however, the City of Westfield provides fire protection to those residents through an interlocal agreement.
“Having the proper equipment to clean firefighter’s gear is vital in ensuring their protection, says Danielle Carey Tolan. If personal protective gear is not cleaned properly between uses, it can cause the equipment to be less heat reflective, capture dangerous toxins and ultimately place our firefighters in compromising positions.”
While on the job, firefighters come in contact with carcinogenic materials, toxins and communicable diseases found in blood or other body fluids. These hazards can then be carried away to potentially cause harm later by ingestion, inhalation or absorption from touch. The firefighter, or anyone else who has contact with the turnout gear, is then at risk. “Public Safety is our most important responsibility and the safety of our public safety officers and firefighters is our top priority,” says Tolan.