Harrisonburg and Rockingham County partner up to deep-clean ambulances

Lt. Albertson said his team wears the mask and suit to protect themselves from the chemical....
Lt. Albertson said his team wears the mask and suit to protect themselves from the chemical. After they're done the staff makes sure to clean themselves up after each vehicle.(WHSV)
Published: Apr. 20, 2020 at 1:54 PM EDT
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To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Harrisonburg Fire Department, Harrisonburg Rescue Squad, and Rockingham County Fire and Rescue have partnered up to deep clean ambulances that have carried high-risk patients and patients with potential or confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Lt. Dennis Albertson, with Rockingham County Fire and Rescue, said crews always wipe down their vehicles after taking a patient to the hospital.

But he said now, as an extra precaution, any emergency vehicle that may have come into contact with a patient with COVID-19 is deep-cleaned in the city's facility off of Maryland Ave.

"Our ambulances are always clean, they're always inspected and we make sure the level of safety we provide is a very high level," Lt. Albertson said. " We're going above and beyond because of the concerns of the type of virus it is and some of the unknowns."

He said two staff members wear chemical resistance suits with a respirator mask and spray down the vehicle. The spray is a thin mist made up a chlorine-oxide product.

Lt. Albertson said as the product is sprayed, it kills bacteria and viruses, such as COVID-19.

"We've disinfected every ambulance that's been in service in the last couple of weeks just to give it a thorough cleaning to start with, " Lt. Albertson said. "Basically it's a clean slate now, we're just keeping up with it."

Lt. Albertson said they have extra staff working to help with the deep cleaning process, which takes about 25 minutes before a vehicle is out again ready to help others.

The city of Harrisonburg has

that two city ambulances have been dedicated to responding to the ongoing outbreak at Accordius Health.