MEREDITH — Meredith Rotary Club, in partnership with Rotary Foundation’s Global Grant program, recently supplied four local fire departments with time-saving sanitizing equipment, which is particularly needed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Upon learning of the need for specialized sanitizing equipment in local fire departments, Meredith Rotary Club applied, and was approved for, a Rotary Foundation Covid-19 matching grant.

As critical first responders during the current COVID-19 crisis, the risk to firefighters has been heightened. The virus can live for several hours on fabric, with a slightly longer span on polyester and spandex-like materials. To combat the increased risk, turnout gear and equipment need to be laundered and sanitized more often; this ensures the technical fibers that make up the PPE are not harboring the COVID-19 virus.

Meredith and Sandwich Fire Departments both requested and received fire code compliant cabinet washers to launder and sanitize firefighting suits. These specialized washers remove carcinogens and sanitize gear to better protect frontline workers.

Center Harbor Fire-Rescue received a fire code compliant gear drying cabinet that dries laundered firefighting suits in hours. Prior to obtaining this cabinet, drying equipment took several days.

Moultonborough Fire-Rescue was provided with an electrostatic sprayer that covers firefighting equipment, including fire trucks, with disinfectant spray — saving hours of manual hand cleaning.

“We are so pleased to be able assist our local first responders with such an immense need,” said Kevin Kelly, president of Meredith Rotary Club. “The equipment we’ve secured significantly increases each fire department’s efficiency by reducing the turnaround time required to fully sanitize and dry protective equipment.”

“We are so grateful for the Meredith Rotary Club,” said Leon Manville, Chief of Center Harbor Fire-Rescue. “Drying uniforms without this drying cabinet can take days. This leaves us with limited options — to run with contaminated gear, go on calls without proper gear, or limit staff that can respond. This equipment helps ensure that our gear is always ready when we need it.”

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