Jefferson Fire Department debuts new way of cleaning their equipment

Published: Apr. 14, 2020 at 11:20 AM CDT
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To protect themselves from coronavrius, firefighters in Jefferson have a new way of wiping down their equipment after making runs. They’re applying a mixture of bleach and water to the insides their ambulances and fire engines as well as on the surfaces of their gear.

“Any of the equipment that is actually in the ambulance -- the cot, the monitor -- is available to be decontaminated with the same product,” said Jefferson Assistant Fire Chief Jerry Wendt.

Wendt says it was protocol before coronavirus to disinfect everything after a run. But the wipes they were using were getting hard to come by. So they switched to the water and bleach concoction the Centers for Disease Control has recommended. Wendt believes it’s turned out to be more effective.

“We have the ability to get into every crack and every crevice where wiping you may not get. It’s just a much better system than just wiping manually,” said Wendt. “This is something we have integrated due to the COVID-19 and probably will keep doing after the COVID-19,”

Wendt and his fellow firefighters released a video showing their new technique.

“You want to get all surfaces covered evenly. You want to spray about a foot and a half away from the surface with the spray,” Wendt says in the video.

Wendt hopes other local fire departments see his video and take up the technique. He says it’s a cheap and effective way to protect firefighters and paramedics.

“The whole production of the (spray) gun and everything, you are looking at less than $200 for the whole system,” he said. “The bleach is available where some of the other decontamination wipes are not available. This is something that could be done for $200 and is very simple to do,”