A Twin Cities company is doing something that hasn't been done anywhere else in the country, and it's all to take better care of our first responders.
Emergency Technical Decon (ETD) uses a new cleaning process using liquified carbon dioxide to get rid of toxins from gear that firefighters wear, including boots, leather gloves, jackets and helmets.
Jon Wikstrom started thinking about the idea three years ago. He built the lab in a warehouse in Eagan. Last month, he says ETD became the only verified cleaner in the country that uses this process after being certified by a third-party, nationally-recognized laboratory.
"We need to do something good with the technology," Wikstrom said. "We knew this firefighter industry needed it."
Wikstrom says cancer is the number one cause of death among firefighters. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says chemicals are emitted from even regular household products when they burn – toxins that end up in firefighter gear.