By Greg Bird
The Ambulance Service has purchased three ultra-violet lamps designed to disinfect surfaces and equipment in ambulances to help kill bacteria and viruses on surfaces as a way to further combat the spread of COVID-19.
The units, utilizing UV-C, emit strong wavelengths of light that quickly wipes out potential contaminants on surfaces. The light can be harmful to human eyes and skin, so the units are designed with a timer so they can be placed in the back of an ambulance and set to run automatically.
“This is an extra layer of protection for our patients and crews,” EMS Director Jimmy Barnett said. “We have also ordered a UV unit that can be used on tools and equipment directly.”
The unit, much like a toaster oven, allows the crews to place their smaller equipment on a tray and place it in the device to sanitize them.
The equipment was purchased with part of the stimulus funding for emergency equipment granted to the county.
Barnett said his crews have not had any direct interactions with patients diagnosed with COVID-19 to his knowledge, but states EMS personnel are fully prepared for the possibility.
“We have a full range of personal protection equipment, and are fully versed in the proper procedures if and when we encounter anyone with the virus,” he said.