Gorham fire district gets clothes washer

By Albert Lin
Russell County News – June 28, 2018
Submitted by Newz Group – July 13, 2018

The Gorham Fire District No. 1’s station in Gorham recently received a heavy-duty washing machine which is capable of cleaning the district’s bunker gear (the protective coats, trousers, and gloves) which the department’s members wear when responding to fires.

The Gorham fire district has 20 sets of bunker gear, and the new machine can wash two such sets at a time.

To dry the wet clothing, the fire department has its existing warm-air dryer cabinet which is used to dry fire hoses after they are used.

Fire Chief Glen Blundon, discussing the washing machine, said, “It’s actually called a ‘washer extractor,’ because it spins so much faster than an ordinary washing machine that it extracts a whole lot more water from the clothing.”

A special heavy-duty clothing detergent is used with the machine.

The washer extractor enables the fire department to clean its protective clothing after every fire to which the department’s members respond.

Blundon, explaining the reason why it was necessary to acquire a washer extractor, said modern homes and cars contain a lot of man-made materials which, when burned, can turn into cancer-causing substances. The washing machine enables those chemicals to be cleaned off of the bunker gear.

Each of the department’s firefighters is being trained in how to use the washer extractor and is responsible for getting his bunker gear washed after each fire and recording each time the cleaning process is performed.

The washer extractor was supplied by Commercial Laundry Sales & Service of Wichita.

Gorham Fire District No. 1 was able to pay the $3,649 cost of the washer extractor by applying for and receiving a grant from the Russell County Area Community Foundation. The fire district applied for that grant this past March, and the washing machine was delivered May 25.

 

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