Wilhelm Barth GmbH & Co. KG Feuerwehrtechnik


The Story, background & products to reduce hoseline exposure

The need to clean

Nearly twenty years ago, in an effort to reduce exposure to cancer causing soot and particulates, a number of progressive U.S. Fire Departments established programs of regular advanced cleaning of their firefighter's PPE.

PER a step towards cancer risk reduction

In recent years the profound concern has extended the focus of our mitigation efforts to include on-scene gross decontamination practices, which NFPA 1851 aptly calls Preliminary Exposure Reduction (PER). While the focus of 1851's PER definition is strictly on firefighter's PPE, the U. S. Fire Service has prudently and collectively begun to expand the concept to include taking additional simple measures, such as cleaning equipment and SCBA on-scene or maintaining a "clean cab", all in order to effectively leave the scene clean. The rationale of these basic efforts is simply to avoid taking the carcinogenic soot, contaminants and particulates back to the firehouse given that every fireground is essentially a HazMat situation and therefore potentially a threat to firefighter health.



Soot & particulates on hoselines are exposure risks

Inexplicably this expanded focus has thus far failed to address the logical need to clean interior attack hoseline which upon deployment within an IDLH is unavoidably as contaminated as our PPE, likely even more so.
Many departments suggest that they do clean their hoseline at the station, the practical reality is that we most often neglect to do so for many reasons.
Furthermore manipulating the contaminated hoses during on-scene take-up, cross contaminating the vehicle and equipment and finally re-manipulating contaminated hose from the vehicle before cleaning at the station increases the likelihood of skin contact with soot and particulate borne carcinogens.

This likelihood of dermal contact is exacerbated by the fact that firefighters often handle hoseline take-up and restoration without wearing gloves and PPE, oftentimes draping contaminated hose over their necks, shoulders, and other exposed areas.
The likelihood of an increase in the lethal potential of such exposures increases when hoses are not cleaned regularly, allowing soot-borne contaminants to accumulate.

The Clean Getaway approach

Addressing all of the above noted issues and concerns was the driving motivation for the creation of the Clean Getaway Hose Cleaner by Barth Inc.
The Clean Getaway is designed and engineered to simply, efficiently and effectively clean hoseline BEFORE restoring the apparatus and departing the scene.

The Hose Cleaner - simple, efficient and effective

The battery powered unit utilizes pumper supplied water via standard connection 1.5". Its motor driven brushes and pressurized water jets effectively remove soot and particulate borne contaminants from hoseline which is especially important with interior attack lines. 

The company behind the products

Barth Firefighting Technology Inc. Germany is a well respected fire service equipment manufacturer and provider with over 130 years of history providing equipment solutions to the worldwide firefighting community. Facilitating firefighter health and safety has always been our number one priority and we are proud to introduce the Clean Getaway hose washer as another important tool in our efforts to reduce cancer in the fire service.

Background & Science

Why focus on soot and particulate removal ?

While chemical analysis of the hose samples taken during the evaluation process continues, it is important to note that an informed and deliberate decision was made to focus our initial analytical efforts on demonstrating the efficacy of the Clean Getaway in the removal of soot and soot-borne carcinogenic particulates from interior attack hoseline. Many of the less volatile products of combustion are larger molecule contaminants which tend to attach themselves to the soot and soot-borne particulates compromising the carcinogenic residue we find on our PPE, equipment, and interior attack lines after the fire. Furthermore, it is the very carcinogens found in soot and on particulates which are considered to be among the most threatening to firefighters in terms of the risk of causing cancer.

Fortunately it is also apparent that the removal of these types of contaminants is most readily accomplished during post-incident Preliminary Exposure Reduction (PER) efforts conducted at the scene. The results of the collaborative study conducted with scientists at North Carolina State's Wilson College of Textiles indicates that the on-scene PER comprised of rinsing and brushing of PPE and equipment can be comprehensively enhanced through the utilization of the easy-to-use and very effective Clean Getaway hose cleaner.

        washed hose (water only)                    dirty hose

It seems obvious that cleaning attack hoselines after every fire will reduce the accumulation of soot and particulates and thus the risk of dermal contact of firefighters. But we asked ourselves:

  • How effective is our new hose cleaner ?
  • Is there an additional benefit in regularly cleaning attack hoselines ?

Our initial focus was to determine if the process of cleaning attack hoselines would help reduce the accumulation of soot and particulates. And does the new machine performs as expected ?
In order to obtain a science-based answer to those questions, Barth Inc. collaborated with Dr. Bryan Ormond and his team at North Carolina State Wilson College of Textiles to determine the effectiveness of our machine.

The research is ongoing but the following Key Takeaways have been determined:

  1. The fire hose cleaner can significantly reduce the amount of chemicals and contaminants on a fire hose, even after it has been used numerous times without being washed.

  2. To minimize contamination and chemical exposures via dermal absorption the fire hose should be cleaned routinely, at least once at the end of day or shift.

  3. Wear gloves or some form of protection while handling fire hoses after fire suppression activities as the fire hose is a source of chemical exposure.

The research evaluation process:

Three brand new all white firefighter hoses were purchased and used by to collect fire scene contaminants.

  • Fire hose 1 was kept as a control and never used

  • Fire hose 2 was cleaned at the end of each day

  • Fire hose 3 was never cleaned at all

>> click here to view the whole study (PDF, 23 MB)
      and why focus on soot and particulate removal

The first qualitative results were:

  • Based on visual assessments, cleaning fire hoses at the end of the day or shift will reduce amount of contaminants and particulate matter on the hose significantly.

  • The middle section of the fire hose is likely to be the dirtiest part of the hose.
    Front is carried and end does not make it into the scene.

  • Heavy amounts of particulate deposition occurs during fire training exercises.

  • Gear, PPE & individuals should be cleaned when fire suppression activities end.

So the conclusion is:

Regular cleaning of hoselines is essential to reduce the accumulation of soot and particulates. Even if hoses were not regularly cleaned, accumulation can be reduced by utilizing the Clean Getaway, even more so by applying soap.

The CLEAN GETAWAY Hose Cleaner

Addressing all of the above noted issues and concerns was the driving motivation for the creation of the Clean Getaway hose cleaner by Barth Inc.

The Clean Getaway is designed and engineered to simply, efficiently and effectively clean hoseline BEFORE restoring the apparatus and departing the scene.

The hose cleaner reduces the work associated with hose cleaning in the past. The wheeled unit is durable and easily portable, with a retractable luggage style handle, powered by a exchangeable battery and requires no special attachments.

The cleaning efficacy of the Clean Getaway hose cleaner has been verified through multiple studies done in consultation and cooperation with textile experts at North Carolina State University.

Excellent features

The deep clean process is accomplished by the two special designed brushes with long cleaning bristles. Both brushes are independently driven by electric motors, powered by an exchangeable 28 V battery Milwaukee type (Genesis Rescue type).
The long bristles and fixed distance of the brushes ensures a constant pressure on the surfaces of the hose and thus an optimal cleaning result.

After the hose is loaded into the washing canal the long bristles catch the coupling and the hose is pulled through the machine by the brushes automatically. So only one person is necessary to comfortably and effectively operate the machine.
The hose is soaked by two pressurized water jets in front of the washing brushes and rinsed by another two jets behind the brushes.

The compactly built aluminum housing is covered with diamond plates double-sided. The sturdy stainless-steel frame makes it easy to grab from any direction and simple to store the cleaner on the apparatus.

Technical Specifications

Dimension: 23" x 22" x 13"
Weight: 66 lb
Water supply: 1 ½" NST-coupling
Water pressure: 60-110 PSI

>> click here to view the brochure (PDF) 

More details ?

Our expert HENRY COSTO is happy to help you !

Phone 215 327 9406

The CLEAN GETAWAY 5" Hose Winder & Water Drainer

Since more than 20 years firefighters all over the world use and love our hose winder series ROLLY. Many customers asked us for winder for 4" and 5" hoselines.
Here it is: the brand new battery powered CLEAN GETAWAY Hose Winder ROLLY 5"

The ROLLY 5" is light and compact like his small brother ROLLY IV. Hoselines with Storz couplings up to 5" in diameter and 200 ft length can be winded. The handle and the arm with the hose-guide are foldable to ensure a very small volume of the unit. Thus he can easily be stored in the firetruck. The forceful electric drive is powered by an exchangeable 28 V battery Milwaukee type (Genesis Rescuetools type), the speed is adjustable up to 4 mph. 

The innovative coupling bracket precisely hold the coupling before winding. While the operator fixes the coupling in the bracket the integrated stand helps to stabilize the unit. The winder advances along the hoseline while winding. Hereby the hoseline with coupling isn't dragged and by this less stressed through abrasion. 

An adjustable hose-guide will guarantee a proper winded hose-coil and the water-drain while the hose is winded. After winding the hose coil can be effortless discarded to the back. The coiled hoseline can easily be removed with hose-removal aid. 

Technical Specifications

Dimension: 33" x 20" x 14"
Weight: 58 lb
Operating range: 1.000 to 1.500 ft with one battery 28 V 5 Ah

>> click here to view the brochure (PDF) 


More details ?

Our expert HENRY COSTO is happy to help you

Phone 215 327 9406




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