Stuttgart Airport Fire Service
Airport fire service takes occupational health and safety seriously when it comes to mask cleaning
Stuttgart airport is the largest in Baden-Württemberg, and its fire department employs 81 people, all of whom are trained in the use of specialist breathing gear. The fire service has a stock of 140 breathing apparatus (BA) masks, and when Kevin Vogel and his colleagues pull them on they instinctively trust that everything is properly sealed, their compressed air cylinders are full, and there are no herpes or tuberculosis viruses – or indeed any other microorganisms – lurking in their masks.
For the last 12 months, the three BA equipment managers have been cleaning the SCBA gear in a TopClean M from MEIKO. Andreas Rudlof is delighted with this new method: "Now we have a mask cleaning process that fully respects occupational health and safety concerns!". The previous manual cleaning method with a formaldehyde solution had prompted numerous complaints to the airport fire chief because the BA equipment managers occasionally experienced unpleasant skin or respiratory complaints.
"Our in-house system for monitoring hazardous substances has been tightened up, so without the TopClean M I would have needed to go through the process of getting the cleaning chemicals approved for safety," Rudlof recalls. The TopClean M washer-disinfector has made that process unnecessary – and the new cleaning and disinfection machine is also saving the BA technicians a considerable amount of time. "We clean the masks from a total of 40 fire services, though only after their training drills. "Whenever a big training exercise takes place on-site at the airport, we typically have to clean 100 masks in one go," says Rudlof. The rapid and reliable cleaning cycles of the MEIKO TopClean M washer-disinfector make it an invaluable member of the BA cleaning and maintenance team. And if ever something goes wrong, the local MEIKO dealer is just 5 kilometres down the road and responds almost as fast as the fire service! Shift leader Moser neatly sums up the firefighters' expectations: "Our needs are pretty simple. All we ask for is top-quality equipment!"