Decontamination Pathways in Fire Stations

FORT WORTH, TX—From the fire station to the fireground, myriad of efforts are being made to reduce exposure to cancer-causing carcinogens.

In his 2017 Station Design Conference session titled “Next Steps in Implementing Hot Zone Design” LeMay Erickson Willcox Architects Principal Paul Erickson shared how departments are working to isolate exposure inside the station.

“We’ve tried to characterize the spaces by the work they do,” Erickson said of the red, yellow and green zones he added to station layouts in 2014. “It’s gained a lot of traction. It seems that the design and fire department community have both jumped on it and we’re continuing to develop it.”

The apparatus bay, workshop and areas around the washer and extractors were all considered the red zone because of the exposure to large heavy amounts of contaminants. The living spaces are the green zones while the passage ways were considered yellow.

“It used to be, when we first started this, that the corridors and doorways between the green and red zones were all we worried about,” Erickson said. “Now we try to take them through a prescribed decontaminating process that includes both the clothing that they are wearing, either the PPE or station uniforms, and equipment, as well as their bodies.”

read more at Decontamination Pathways in Fire Stations