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Roche fire brigade: cleaning masks quickly

The respiratory protective equipment workshop is on the fast track to hygiene

Fire Department Basel

The pharmaceutical company Roche is a worldwide leader in the industry and a large employer at its headquarters in Basel. More than 11,400 employees work in the Swiss border city for the globally operating group. The move to the new service building coincided with an upgrade to the latest technology for the respiratory protective workshop of the Roche fire brigade. But for Niklaus Lerch, group leader of the fire brigade, the move to adopt the Top Clean M mask cleaning machine from MEIKO was no coincidence. This was the cleaning and disinfection machine he had long been looking for. He was looking for a professional solution to clean his firefighters' respirator masks, one that saved time and was, above all, state-of-the-art: "I made it very clear in explaining why nothing else would do in our respiratory protective workshop. Top Clean M from MEIKO manages to clean four masks in just six minutes – that was the deciding factor." Making the switch was a no-brainer. Using the previous device, an instrument washing machine, he needed 42 minutes to clean the same number of masks and another three-quarters of an hour for the drying process. Niklaus Lerch is happy to say that, "Now the masks are coming out of the Top Clean M so hot that they're almost dry."

The Roche team has 21 professional firefighters. In addition to 20 chemical protection suits, around 100 respirator masks, including overpressure, filter and radio masks, are provided for the crew's personal protective equipment. "We are supplementing these with 300 building masks at all crucial locations on the company premises. They are used in the event of a substance release", says Niklaus Lerch. 

The Roche fire brigade's capacity to clean masks much more quickly is not the only benefit that is highly appreciated by company management in Basel. Hygiene is a precious asset in pharmacy. And product safety can mean the difference between life and death. The Top Clean M mask cleaning machine also excels when it comes to hygiene, a factor no less important than speed: "After use, the masks are pre-decontaminated as best we can on site. When we unscrew the filter during machine maintenance, we're always amazed by what is still in there."