PAWLEYS ISLAND, SC (WBTW) – As the threat of COVID-19 continues, some first responders are turning to technology to stay safe.
That’s the case for two agencies in Georgetown County.
“We were able to procure two UV light kits prior to everything becoming unavailable,” Emergency Manager Brandon Ellis said. “These units are very efficient. They go in and simply plug in in the back of the ambulance and use the UV light to kill any organisms that may exist in the rear patient compartment.”
A kit was given to both Midway Fire Rescue and Georgetown County Fire/EMS. They cost around $600 a piece. The light is meant to protect the safety of the first responders and the patients.
“This does not replace their normal technical decon procedures as far as wiping down things with cleaning solution and what not,” Ellis explained. “It’s really a supplemental cleaning option.”
Ellis said the county was looking into stocking up on protective gear back in early March when concerns about the novel coronavirus were first beginning in the U.S. That’s when the county began looking into alternative sanitation methods as well.
“Started exploring some options of, you know, alternative methods seeing that cleaning supplies were becoming scarce,” Ellis said. “We stumbled on some research that showed that UV lighting was an applicable resource to work towards decontaminating coronavirus.”
Ellis noted that agencies have adequate cleaning supplies. He added that COVID-19 does post a real threat, though, and it’s important to keep those on the front lines safe.
“It’s prevalent throughout the community and across the world for that matter,” he said. “It’s a scary situation. Our guys and gals out on the front lines are putting their lives in danger everyday.”