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Continental gear washers/dryers qualify for AFG grants; application period opens soon.

July 2014 | Download Article
Continental gear washers/dryers qualify for AFG grants; application period opens soon

Oshkosh, Wis.--The application period for the 2014 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program is expected to open soon ( This means fire departments can soon apply for grants to purchase equipment needed to heighten firefighter safety, including Continental Girbau Inc. (Continental) ExpressWash™ Washers and ExpressDry™ Gear Dryers.

An appropriation of $680 million is approved for 2014, with $340 million to support Fire and EMS Operations and Safety Grants, Firefighting and Emergency Vehicle Grants and Fire Prevention and Safety Grants; and $340 million to support SAFER grants.

Continental ExpressWash Washers and ExpressDry Gear Dryers properly clean and dry turnout gear and other protective apparel – helping protect wearers from the hazards of contaminated gear. Fire departments across the nation purchase ExpressWash and ExpressDry equipment using AFG funding every year.

The primary goal of AFG, according to, is to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency medical service organizations. Since 2001, AFG has helped firefighters and other first responders to obtain equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.

Fire Chief Scott Grooms applied for AFG funding to purchase Eadytown, S.C. Volunteer Fire Dept.’s ExpressWash Washer and ExpressDry Dryer. Installed in 2010, the duo properly cleans turnout gear, offers ease-of-use, and a wash/dry turnaround of around three hours.

“Continental washers and gear dryers properly clean and dry protective gear according to gear manufacturer and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) guidelines,” said Continental Vice President Joel Jorgensen. Operators simply select a program number, press start, and the washer automatically blends optimum water temperatures, water levels, chemicals, mechanical action, precise extraction speeds and cycle times.

“ExpressWash Washers are freestanding machines,” added Jorgensen. “So they are easily installed in tight places without bolting them to reinforced concrete foundations. They will operate beautifully in truck bays, on floors with in-floor heat, in utility rooms, or anywhere there is a bit of space and proper utilities.” Once turnout gear is properly washed, it’s quickly and safely dried using either an ExpressDry Gear Dryer or ExpressDry Special Ops Gear Dryer.

The Special Ops Gear Dryer is equipped with 12 drying ports and four invertible stickmen to quickly and safely dry ensembles of full protective gear and apparatuses used for firefighting and special operations, such as swift water, ice and dive rescues. An optional boot tree dries up to four pairs of soaked boots in just 60 minutes. The dryers use a 110-volt fan to push non-heated air through the garment – from the inside out – at high pressure. This effectively dries hard-toreach areas that can be slow to dry – returning gear to service in hours, rather than days.

ExpressWash Washers and ExpressDry Gear Dryers are backed by an industry-leading ContinentalCare™ warranty and often qualify for AFG grant dollars. To find out more about Continental products, visit their website or call 800-256-1073.

Continental Girbau, Inc. is the largest of 14 subsidiaries of the Girbau Group, based in Vic, Spain. Girbau laundry products – marketed throughout 90 countries worldwide – meet rigorous environmental and safety standards established by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Girbau S.A. holds both ISO9001 and ISO14001 certifications. Ever focused on laundry efficiency, Continental Girbau is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGB), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System.