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First responders find new ways to sanitize their ambulances

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(WSIL) -- With the low supply of personal protective equipment due to COVID-19, EMS crews are finding other ways to disinfect their vehicles.

To save on protective resources like disinfect wipes, West Frankfort Fire Department is spraying down their ambulances.

"We had the HVLP gun, high velocity pressure, out here, and we decided to start messing around with it 'cause it seemed like a pretty good idea," said West Frankfort firefighter paramedic Jesse Jeffords.

The department is following CDC guidelines, cleaning with bleach solution, a process that has saved the crew extra minutes.

"We were using about a quarter of a container of wipes each time and spending 20 to 15 minutes wiping it down. So last Thursday we started messing around with HVLP gun and figured out this quicker way to do it. It takes us five to 10 minutes," said Jeffords.

Mayfield, Kentucky Fire Department plans to eliminate the virus with UV light. The department says these lights can help sanitize in just seconds.

"It's not going to be something that we're going to us to replace regular washing. We're going to continue to use the 10 percent bleach water on all surfaces, over the floors and anything in the back of the ambulance, but it's going to be another tool that we're hopefully be able to use to kill these microorganisms," said safety officer Darin French.

Both fire departments say nothing is more crucial than protecting the community.

"What it'll do for the community is help to ensure that our personnel are not carrying infectious disease to the next person," said French.

"Obviously important to us to disinfect all that to keep this virus low," said Jeffords.

Mayfield Fire tells News 3 the special UV lights are on back order right now due to increased demand.

Maya Skinner

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