By Robert Avsec for FireRescue1 BrandFocus
One of the single most costly investments made by any fire department is the personal protective equipment that it provides to its individual members. Just one NFPA-compliant structural firefighting protective ensemble represents an outlay of $2,000 or more, depending on the manufacturer.
The manufacturers of firefighting PPE agree – as listed in the manufacturer’s recommendations they include with each ensemble component – that PPE service life is extended through regular cleaning and drying and proper storage between uses. So what are your PPE storage options to help protect that investment?
DIY STORAGE LOCKERS
One option is for your department to construct its own built-in lockers. However, in addition to the cost of materials, there’s the time investment on the part of your personnel for the labor. And couldn’t that time be better spent, particularly if yours is a volunteer-staffed department, on other activities like training or just having more time for your families?
Another potential drawback is that most DIY built-in lockers or lockers built by a contractor are one-size-fits-all solutions to the department’s PPE storage needs. The original locker “owners” may get the locker that meets their needs, but what about the next occupant?
COMMERCIALLY PRODUCED BUILT-IN LOCKER SYSTEMS
Many commercially produced lockers may look nicer and have some features that a DIY project might not, but there’s still that one stumbling block – one size does not fit all. Your fire department can still find itself with a static storage system where customizations or alterations are difficult, if not impossible.
THE GEARGRID BUILT-IN LOCKER SOLUTION
GearGrid’s line of wall-mounted and mobile PPE lockers provide the ultimate performance for both drying and storing of PPE in one product. Here are eight reasons why GearGrid should be your PPE storage solution:
1. GearGrid is based in the USA, and all its products are manufactured in the USA using ASTM spec materials, not imported materials that may or may not be manufactured to ASTM standards. GearGrid began building PPE storage lockers in 1998, but the company’s “bloodlines” in covered-wire construction date back to 1921.
GearGrid’s factory-direct distribution – no reseller network – ensures consistent service and pricing regardless of where your fire department is located. Manufacturing, sales and service for all GearGrid products are all headquartered in Forest Lake, Minnesota.
2. GearGrid uses square grids – unlike the diagonal grids used by other manufacturers – in the construction of its lockers. This means that each individual firefighter can easily adjust and customize his or her GearGrid locker shelves in 3-inch increments.
3. Unlike other PPE storage lockers, GearGrid’s wall-mounted lockers come standard from the factory with a back-wall panel. This unique feature of GearGrid lockers gives firefighters additional storage and accessory mounting space, helps protect your fire station’s interior walls and provides an extra level of security for a firefighter’s PPE.
4. GearGrid constructs its lockers using top and bottom rails that are designed to span sections of two or three openings using fewer hardware joints. This GearGrid standard provides a locker with more rigid support and increased durability.
5. GearGrid developed the durable TGIC Powder Coat Finish for use on all its products. This unique wire coating finish provides better protection from destructive UV rays and prevents the exterior chalking found with many epoxy wire coatings.
6. GearGrid’s rugged 0.192-inch wire apparel hooks easily snap into the locker panels and provide a more secure hook that’s going to stay in place. No need to worry about clothing hooks coming off – and getting lost – when a firefighter grabs his or her turnout gear to respond to an emergency call.
7. With GearGrid’s individual hang bars for each locker opening, each individual firefighter can easily adjust the height of the bar – as well as shelving – within his or her GearGrid locker. GearGrid’s optional stainless-steel hang bar securely attaches to the side panels in each individual locker opening and is designed to work with GearGrid’s specially designed drying hangers for coats, trousers and gloves. Other storage locker systems use non-stainless, zinc-plated rods that span several locker openings so that both the hanging bar and upper shelf must be the same height across multiple lockers.
8. GearGrid offers locker accessories to enable a high level of customization for each individual locker. From lockable storage boxes to stainless steel gear hangers to a 120-volt A/C outlet rail (and many more), your GearGrid locker storage system can be outfitted to protect and secure all of a firefighter’s assigned gear and equipment.
About the Author
Batt. Chief Robert Avsec (Ret.) served with the Chesterfield (Va.) Fire & EMS Department for 26 years. He was an instructor for fire, EMS and hazardous materials courses at the local, state and federal levels, which included more than 10 years with the National Fire Academy. Chief Avsec earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati and his master’s degree in executive fire service leadership from Grand Canyon University. He is a 2001 graduate of the National Fire Academy’s EFO Program. Contact Robert at email@example.com.
To view the original story, visit: