Personal protective equipment plays a crucial role in keeping firefighters safe as they battle blazes. However, the same safety gear intended to protect can also ironically wind up causing harm. Chemicals, biological hazards, asbestos fibers, and toxic byproducts from burning materials can all cling to PPE.

Firefighters could suffer a wide range of health risks if they come in contact with contaminants. While manual washing removes dangerous hazards, it also exposes the person cleaning to those toxic substances. 

Fire department PPE washers solve the time-consuming and potentially dangerous chore of manually cleaning gear. Read on to learn more about the benefits of these efficient and effective washing solutions.


Fire departments face many challenges in adequately cleaning their critical PPE after fires. A dedicated gear washer offers major advantages over manual scrubbing, including:

Enhanced Safety

The contaminants clinging to firefighter gear following an incident can be extremely hazardous if they remain on the PPE. Chemical splashes, soot, and other toxins get embedded into the gear and need diligent cleaning for removal. A PPE washer for firefighting equipment provides a controlled, hands-off way to wash gear. This lessens direct contact with contaminants during cleaning.

Increased Efficiency

Manually washing PPE gear piece-by-piece is highly inefficient, and effectiveness can vary from person to person. PPE washers let departments clean multiple sets simultaneously, saving time and labor. This enables swift and thorough cleaning so gear is ready for the next call.

Superior Cleaning Performance

While a household washing machine may get gear somewhat clean, it won't tackle all the potential contaminants clinging to PPE after a challenging blaze. 

Professional PPE washers are designed specifically for cleaning firefighting gear and can remove pollutants such as soot, chemicals, and biological hazards more effectively than traditional washing machines. The specialized PPE washers utilize optimized cycles, water flow, and detergents to deep clean gear.

Meeting Regulatory Standards

NFPA standards mandate that firefighter PPE must be cleaned and inspected regularly. Using a PPE washer helps fire departments follow this requirement and keep their gear in optimal condition. It also frees personnel from the burden of manual washing, enabling them to focus on other critical tasks around the firehouse.


The Gladiator 911 from Arnold Machine is an efficient, high-quality gear washer explicitly designed for fire departments. It thoroughly cleans PPE while being easy to operate. A spacious interior compartment allows washing two complete gear sets or customized combinations of boots, helmets, gloves, tanks, and masks. 

The Gladiator 911 provides specialized features like a 360-degree rotating wash arm and high-pressure spray to target contaminants. This innovative washer enables departments to keep gear in excellent condition while reducing safety risks and cleaning demands on personnel.

Clean gear reflects pride and professionalism in the firefighting corps. With so many reasons to invest in a dedicated gear washer, fire chiefs owe it to their teams to strongly consider acquiring this equipment.

With over 35 years of expertise in building specialized washers, Arnold Machine is an ideal partner to craft innovative, high-quality gear washers for fire departments nationwide.


At Arnold Machine, we ensure the Gladiator 911 meets the highest standards in cleanliness and safety. We work closely with NFPA experts and gear manufacturers to implement best practices. The Gladiator 911 uses NFPA-approved soaps for optimal cleaning performance.

Though PPE washers for SCBA gear are not yet subject to NFPA certification, we build our washers to follow the strictest interpretations of NFPA guidelines. We stay current on potential changes to NFPA 1851 that may occur in the coming years. This proactive approach guarantees the Gladiator 911 will satisfy all NFPA requirements for gear washers as they evolve.

With over three decades of experience building specialized washers, Arnold Machine has an unmatched commitment to excellence and safety. We draw on our deep expertise to craft innovative gear washers ready for the future of NFPA standards. Fire departments can trust the Gladiator 911 to clean PPE to the highest standards.


The contaminants and carcinogens clinging to firefighter PPE can create major health hazards if left on gear after an incident. Utilizing a dedicated gear washer like the Gladiator 911 boosts cleaning effectiveness while freeing up personnel time. 

With their safety and efficiency benefits, fire department gear washers are an intelligent investment for keeping PPE clean. Click below to find out how affordable manual washing can be.