HAMPTON, Va. — First responders are trying to get ahead of the curve by decontaminating their cars during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Hampton, firefighters dressed in safety gear and cleaned out several fire trucks, police cruisers and ambulances Wednesday. The first responders will continue this ritual every few days, for as long as it's needed.
They said it’s a way to keep police officers, firefighters and EMS crews safe. It also protects the people they serve.
Anthony Chittum, the Hampton Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief, said this is the most recent of a string of precautionary measures they've taken.
“We kind of saw how the direction this was going and we started preparing weeks ago for this,” explained Chittum.
He said the division recently purchased the electrostatic pump which sprays a mist that covers every surface.
“It’s approved by the EPA," he said. "It kills 99.9 percent of all viruses, such as the coronavirus.”
The plan is to spray each vehicle once every three to four days, to try and mitigate any possible exposure to COVID-19. Hampton police officers said this is just an extra tool in their belt.
“It gives us peace of mind for the officers that are having to be in contact with citizens on a daily basis, that we are doing what we can to keep them healthy,” Hampton Police Sgt. Reginald Williams said.
First responders said people at home can help keep them safe by limiting your exposure and continuing to wash your hands.
Chittum said it’s important we are all work together to flatten the curve.
“If you are sick and you are able to call your primary doctor - and not use 911 - that is one of the best things you can do,” Chittum said.