How firefighters protect themselves against asbestos, carcinogens

Local News

Firefighters face many challenges and dangers when on the job. The occupation also poses another risk even after the flames have been put out. 

Asbestos has been released after Boley Elementary’s fire Saturday, putting firefighters at risk for exposure, as they had to get “up close and personal” to extinguish the flames. Exposure can happen from any fire, and thankfully the West Monroe Fire Department was ready. So, how do they do it?

It starts before the call even comes in. Everything is prepped and ready to go; geaqr is clean, trucks are stocked and the firefighters gear up in 60-90 seconds.

Once they’re done for the day, the gear is once again cleaned. With the help from an agent called “citrus squeeze”, the gear can be scrubbed of carcinogens.

But it doesn’t stop there. The gear isn’t 100 percent sealed from the elements. To ensureas much decontamination as possible, firefighters are encouraged to sit in a sauna to sweat any futher chemicals out, and then shower immediately after.

The WMFD also rotates out their gear more frequently than the recommended 10 years to ensure their uniforms stay in tip top shape. 

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