Firefighters are exposed to various types of particulates and possible carcinogens while fighting fires. When the work is done and they travel back to the fire station, they may be carrying these particulates and possible carcinogens on their uniforms, masks, and other equipment. The Ohio State Fire Academy has challenged the students to design a mobile remediation device to clean uniforms and equipment to remove particulates and other contaminants.
The inhalation of carcinogens and contaminants by firefighters is a danger to the families and lives of firefighters. Therefore, the cleaning of firefighter personal protective equipment (PPE) is an essential part of the job. The current solutions for laundering PPEs include expensive machines that do not prevent the cross contamination while returning from the scene of a fire. They require the contaminated equipment to be transported back to the station where it can be laundered, leaving open the opportunity for extended exposure and contamination of personal items, therefore increasing the risk for firefighters and their families. The goal of this Challenge is to design a device that quickly and effectively cleans firefighter PPE after use, removing 90% of surface contaminants, fitting on a firetruck for transport, and refraining from overly saturating the equipment.