On-Scene Gross Decontamination

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue – Since the exposure to products of combustion from today’s fire ground has been linked to an increased risk of cancer, it is important for firefighters to effectively manage these exposures when they happen. Harmful toxins enter the skin at interface areas of the gear and also by cross contamination of handling contaminated equipment. Inhalation hazards are present on the fire ground as well as when gear is off gassing. 

According to current research, completing on-scene gross decontamination using a water and soap solution immediately upon exiting the fire ground has shown a median reduction of 85% of fire ground contaminates from firefighters personal protective equipment. 

Watch the video for an overview of how to complete on-scene gross decontamination. Completing this decontamination process, then using decontamination wipes to clean the skin and showering immediately after a fire incident and changing into a clean uniform are all evidence based research recommendations to mitigate the occupational cancer exposure and risk.

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