Baltimore County firefighters tackle Ravens laundry

OWINGS MILLS - Did you know Baltimore County Fire Department (BCoFD) firefighters are the muscle behind making sure the Baltimore Ravens jerseys are clean?

There's a lot to clean up following any Baltimore Ravens football game. A lot of elbow grease goes into cleaning the football team jerseys for any given Sunday.

Team Services Manager Bud Reinecke says his team gets as much of a thrill out of seeing a Ravens win as they do when the whistle is blown and they get the hand-off – a cart full of dirty uniforms.

"We're dealing with grass stains, blood stains. We're dealing with some paint. A face mask can scar the jerseys," said Bud. "The colder it gets the longer the hours are because they dress heavy.

"We do 12 to 16 loads of laundry a day," Bud said.

The loads of laundry take three to four hours to complete.

"The dirt comes out. The blood comes out. Some of the markings come out with some work, but the paint. When you have dry paint on a fabric it's very much so a challenge," he added.

The laundry team starts their day at 7 a.m. and typically leaves around 9 p.m.

But Bud's says the men are used to the long hours.

"I am! I'm also a career firefighter for Baltimore County. Been there for 26 years," said Bud.

In fact, the entire laundry team is made of Baltimore County Firefighters.

"We do errands. We take players to and from doctors' appointments, hospital visits, shipping and receiving," he explained.

Seamstress Deborah Greenspan's job is tackling the stitching and sewing.

"It's up to me to make it fit properly," she said.

It's only her rookie season as the Ravens seamstress, but she's already seen the damage passes and tackles can do to a jersey.

"The worst I've ever seen was the entire back ripped out down the side back of the shirt. That was the worst. It went through the nameplate, the side of the jersey," Deb said.

But no matter how ripped the uniforms get, Deb knows the players never want to part with their game jerseys.

"If they can get it fixed they want it fixed. If it's the one they want, then it's my job to make it work," said Deb.

"It's like your favorite t-shirt. You want to wear that until the end," Bud added.

The easiest part of the uniform detail's week comes the hours before the Ravens take the field.

"The equipment staff we kind of take a deep breath because our job is finished at least for the moment," Bud said.

* The List is an entertainment news magazine show, highlighting the latest national stories and some of the hottest events, stories, and places to see in Baltimore. It airs locally on WMAR | ABC2 at 7 p.m. You can also check out their content on www.thelistshow.tv.

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