World-leading technology to protect firefighters from dangerous toxins

Clean Firefighters, Clean Appliances, and Clean Buildings programs include:

  • $30 million in new structural protective clothing for all firefighters;
  • New design guidelines for fire stations with living, transition and work areas, and retrofit of designated wash areas to control the spread of contaminants;
  • a new laundry app to simplify the process of decontaminating firefighter clothes; and
  • Ongoing research into exposure and decontamination education, guidelines and procedures.

Emergency Services and Resilience Minister Steph Cooke said FRNSW is a world leader in providing state-of-the-art equipment, facilities and practices to protect firefighters from harmful toxins.

“There was a time when firefighters thought a uniform covered in ash and soot was a ‘badge of honor’, but now that we have a better understanding of the risks of carcinogens, it’s important that we take steps to protect our frontline responders ,” Ms Cook said.

“This new program is the first of its kind in the fire service in the world and is the culmination of four years of hard work.

“It is critical that we have these new procedures and resources to protect not only our employees but their families as well.”

FRNSW Commissioner Paul Baxter said the Clean Firefighters, Clean Appliances and Clean Buildings programmes help understand the risks to frontline workers and take appropriate action.

“Any firefighter will tell you they’ve long known they’ve been exposed to a nasty mix of carcinogens, but as an organization, we want to know what else we can do to reduce the risk of those exposures,” Commissioner Baxter said.

“International research into firefighters’ cancer risk continues, but in the meantime, we have a blueprint for continuing to protect our people.

“Together we are changing the hygiene of fire stations, uniforms, trucks and, importantly, the way we operate. This has a real and positive impact on the safety of our people.”

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