Daily unit checks are part of anyone’s day that works in emergency services. This ensures that equipment is present and functioning. Over the past several weeks gross decontamination has been added to the daily routine of crews in Allegany County.

“As part of the unit’s check, we want our crews to wipe down frequently touched surfaces in the driver and patient compartments of the ambulances. The cot and any equipment that is used is done after every call,” Lt. Todd Bowman, public information officer for the Allegany County Department of Emergency Services said. “Crews have been provided with germicidal wipes to use for the decontamination of the units.”

DES personnel have gone above and beyond the calling and have become creative with the way they perform decontamination of their units and the stations they are assigned.

“Spending more time at home has allowed us to reflect and think,” Emergency Services Director James Pyles said. “In this profession we are natural problem solvers. We have many talented personnel and this is just another example of them stepping up to the plate and solving a problem.”

Firefighter/Paramedic Jason Wolf and Technician Justin Edwards created a sprayer that protects the person operating the device and still delivers the Cavicide, a chemical disinfectant. Crews use an SCBA, the buddy breathing port with a sprayer attached.

“Wearing the SCBA with the sprayer attached to the buddy breathing connector allows the operator to be protected while performing the decontamination,” Bowman said. “Using this method allows crews to conserve precious disposable resources.”

Crews around the county and the City of Cumberland have been using similar spraying techniques to perform the tasks, Bowman said.

“We have to keep each other safe and healthy during this crisis,” Pyles added. “This method allows crews to perform the task quickly, safely and units are out of service for a minimal amount of time…keeping our crews available to assist the citizens of Allegany County.”