Lee County ahead of the curve with ambulance disinfection technology

One place that seems likely to house the novel coronavirus is an ambulance, especially when Emergency Medical Services must transport someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. But there is new technology available to help disinfect the unit.

It’s a disinfecting mist that’s sprayed throughout the entire patient compartment. By killing germs there, they are protecting the patient currently being transported and the one after.
And it’s not just used for COVID-19 patients, but any virus-related transport.

Lee County claims it has actually been using this solution for a while.

“We worked with the State of Florida after the Ebola outbreak several years ago on a network of different agencies to transport highly infectious patients,” said Ben Abes, director of the Lee County Department of Public Safety. “Through the training, we were able to utilize new tools to be able to disinfect the ambulance after those transports. Those tools came immediately into play when we started to transport COVID-19 patients last year.”

Here’s how it works: The machine is built into the ambulance An EMT presses a button inside, shuts the doors and a mist is deployed for about 5 minutes, over which time the mist will disinfect the entire back cabin of any viruses.

“We were definitely ahead of the game,” Abes said. “We had the tools in place, we had the resources and we had the training. We just needed to expand that training from a small group of our providers to a much larger group of our providers and eventually to our entire team of EMS.”

Before COVID-19, Lee County only had portable units of the solution. Now, thanks to federal CARES Act dollars, it has installed these mist units in all of their ambulances. Abes says the mist is put to use every single day.

Reporter:Nicole Lauren
Writer:Joey Pellegrino
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