TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Long awaited help has finally arrived for one southern Arizona fire department.
After applying for a grant in March, Rincon Valley Fire District has received a new machine to help keep them safe from COVID-19.
Despite their precautions, the patients they pick up often aren’t doing the same.
“We are obviously transporting these people whether they do or don’t have COVID—they could have something else,” said EMT and Firefighter Alex Anduaga.
Now, no matter what’s left behind in an ambulance won’t stick around for long.
“The arrival of this equipment couldn’t be more timely,” said Battalion Chief of A Shift, Eddie Cornejo.
New equipment granted by the Gary Sinise Foundation gives them the ability to clean their units from top to bottom, in places normal cleaning supplies couldn’t reach. Allowing for immediate disinfection and future, since the residual left behind is active for a year.
“It’s actually disinfecting that unit for after that call and future calls,” said Cornejo.
In about 30 minutes a cloud fills and cleans the unit, then is ready to go.
Adding an extra layer of protection for the EMTs and firefighters who potentially face the virus daily.
Now knowing what they come into contact with at work, won’t go with them when the day is done.
“We sign up every day we show up to run on emergencies—but our families don’t necessarily sign up for that. So to know that we’re taking an extra step to make sure we don’t spread it to our loved ones and everyone else around us, it feels really good,” said Anduaga.
Rincon Valley Fire says the disinfecting unit can also be used to help clean health care facilities.