Hanahan Fire Department sanitizing ambulances with ultraviolet light

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HANAHAN, S.C. (WCBD)- The Hanahan Fire Department is taking steps to protect it’s first responders and residents from potentially spreading Coronavirus when going out on calls.

Decontaminating an ambulance after a call was taking up to almost two hours, the Hanahan Fire Department has cut that time nearly in half with one piece of equipment. That piece of equipment is an ultraviolet light.

“When they come back from calls, they hang it in the back and they hit it up for a 30 minute timer and everywhere that the UV light actually hits it will kill the germs,” says Hanahan City Administrator Mike Cochran.

Before using the Germicidal UV light, Cochran says the department was using a bleach solution to clean the ambulances which could take up to two hours. Cochran says the department is taking every precaution.

“When we go on a call, you don’t know if they have the virus or don’t have the virus so you want to decontaminate completely every time,” says Cochran. “And we’re able to use the Germicidal UV light in our fire trucks.”

Cochran says the UV light can also be used to sanitize police cars to protect all of the city’s first responders. Along with being a quicker and safer way to clean the units, Cochran says the short turn around time is critical for Hanahan.

“In larger cities, you may have three or four ambulances running, we don’t have that,” says Cochran. “And so we need to be able to be as efficient as we can be.”

Hanahan resident Colin Dougherty says it’s important for ambulances to be as clean as possible for both first responders and the people they serve.

“You want it to be as clean as possible, you’re hoping 100% clean when they’re answering to somebody’s house,” says Dougherty. “You’re hoping everyone’s safe, the ambulance crew and then also the people they’re helping as well.”

Dougherty says he’s glad the Fire Department is taking the measures.

“I mean it’s super important, you’re talking about health and safety so it’s important to cut those hours as much as they can really,” says Dougherty.

Cochran says while the UV lights are currently being used are a temporary solution, the Fire Department has ordered UV Ambulance Disinfectant lights than can be mounted in each unit.

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