NM fire dept.’s ‘clean cab’ policy aims to decrease cancer risk
The Bernalillo County Fire Department is the first in the state to outfit its fire engines with outside compartments to hold potentially-tainted gear
By FireRescue1 Staff
BERNALILLO COUNTY, N.M. — A fire department’s new cancer prevention initiative includes keeping toxins out of their fire engines by storing their gear elsewhere.
KRQE reported that the Bernalillo County Fire Department is the first in the state to create “clean cabs” by retrofitting their new fire engines with outside compartments to store potentially tainted gear.
"We're always looking at new initiatives and ways to keep our firefighters safe," Lt. George Asi said.
Firefighters will now avoid wearing their gear as long as possible by storing it in the compartments when responding to a call to keep toxins out of the cab.
"When we arrive on scene, especially these fire scenes, you're going to see that your firefighters are going to be bunkering up on scene," Lt. David Lujan said.
Department officials said the new policy won’t affect response times, and added that firefighters spend about a minute and half bunkering up, no matter where they are.
"It's not that we're not prepared when we arrive on scene, this is just going to be the new application – the new norm for us when we arrive on scene," Lujan said.
The department said they plan to add the compartments to the rest of their engines in July.