A central Florida city has unveiled on-board decontamination systems to three of its ambulances to stop the spread of diseases in the wake of the Ebola virus.
The on-board decontamination units are made up of pressurized pumps, which release a decontamination mist inside the passenger area of the ambulance. The process takes 15 minutes and can be used while the vehicle is driving. The first responder decontamination company AeroClave installed these units to the ambulances.
"This ability to clear each unit after each patient offers the opportunity for us to break the chain of contamination for viruses like Ebola should we be faced with such as patient," Winter Park Fire Chief James White said.
There have been no confirmed cases of the Ebola virus in Central Florida, but city officials say the units will help EMS staff and patients from contracting others dieses like swine flu.
The city’s police department has two portable units and a fixed system in its building to decontaminate the holding cells, evidence processing room, SWAT locker and workout facility. Winter Park Police Chief Brett Railey said the units were installed before the Ebola scare, but they may get more use sooner than anticipated.
“We began installation on the fixed systems and purchased the two portables about a year and a half ago in anticipation of the inevitable biohazard issues we knew we would soon face,” Railey said.