The Tisbury Fire Department has received a state grant of nearly $6,500 to purchase a washer-extractor that will effectively clean firefighter turnout gear after it has been exposed to smoke, ash, or other hazardous materials, so that firefighters do not have to wear contaminated gear.

“Clean gear will protect our firefighters from receiving repeated exposure to the cancer-causing chemicals that are a by-product of today’s fire environment” fire chief John Schilling said in a statement.

“The ability to clean our gear regularly will prevent contaminants from building up in the personal protective equipment our firefighters wear on every call.”

A national standard set by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) spells out the specific types of machines that should be used to effectively remove cancer-causing chemicals from structural firefighting gear after each exposure to smoke or fire. This grant will enable Tisbury Fire personnel to wash their gear in a compliant manner after each exposure, and be ready to respond to the next emergency in properly cleaned gear.

The $6,448.95 equipment grant was awarded by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security and the Department of Fire Services.