Step 1: real fire training, step 2: hygiene after an emergency
The Safety Training Centre in Büren uses the TopClean M by MEIKO to clean BA masks
30 pallets per hour – that is the rate of consumption when things are literally ‘heating up’ at the Safety Training Centre in Büren, Switzerland. When firefighters need to train in near real-life firefighting situations, they mostly head to Büren to use the fire simulation facilities there. Building insurer GVB, the Swiss Federation of Fire Fighters and other training partners also use the facility.
Advanced training under real fire conditions and fire simulations are intensely demanding for the participants and for their equipment, especially the respiratory protective equipment. The centre may ‘only’ have 40 BA masks in circulation – but they take a lot of punishment. ‘From March to July, our BA masks are cleaned every day using the MEIKO TopClean M,’ Daniel Arni tells us. The Managing Director of the Safety Training Centre chips in, ‘The PPE is exposed to extremely high levels of heat strain in real fire training.’
Training in Büren produces dirt on the PPE but that is no problem for the TopClean M cleaning and disinfection machine for respiratory protective equipment. Quite the opposite:
‘When we look at the filter in the machine, we are pleased to see the dirt there rather than on the BA masks or the regulators,’ says Daniel Arni.
Before the TopClean M came along, masks were cleaned by hand. Daniel Arni remembers:
‘Of course, you can wash masks by hand in accordance with all of the guidelines but then everyone involved has a different version of how to do it right. And the process is not reliable enough for us. Aside from that, in terms of occupational safety, it is really a third class solution.’
After the training session in the burn building, every wearer of respiratory protective equipment gives their kit a quick clean while they are still on site. Then, the masks and regulators head into the respiratory protective equipment workshop where you will also find CPR training dummy Rescue Anne. After all, it is not only real fire training which requires hygienically clean equipment. The first aid course needs it for mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, too.