HOWARD COUNTY, Md. — Firefighters are stepping up their game to make sure EMS units are free of germs.
As of Monday, Howard County Fire and Rescue Services now has a disinfectant station at Howard County General Hospital to perform deep cleans of ambulances.
"We're trying to expedite the process," said Battalion Chief David Sabat. "When crews are in, transitioning patient care we have a team at the hospital that is basically going in and doing gross decontamination of that ambulances. "As soon as the crews are done they can get back in the ambulances and get back in service."
According to the departments Facebook page the decontamination team will be working from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. every day.
The fire department told WMAR-2 News that this is a pilot program and that it will reevaluate the decontamination team.
"Our goal is to make sure we continue to provide the highest standard of care," said Sabat. "We also want to make sure our first responders are safe while doing their job."
When asked if the extra time being spent cleaning ambulances would impact response times Sabat said it all depends on the cleaning products being used.
"Most of our products, it's contact time," he said. "Ones it air dries we're goo to go. We also have an ultraviolet light we're using. That can be placed in two different locations in the ambulances. In ten minutes it can kill about 99.9% of the germs it comes in contact with."