Emergency vehicles put crews at risk: How disinfection can help

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Confined spaces, high-touch surfaces, and folks working in close quarters. That’s a trifecta of risky conditions during a global pandemic. Frankly, even during normal times, it can put emergency vehicle crews at risk.

Unfortunately, these conditions are the status quo in most fire department and emergency vehicles. Two to four people in a cramped space, required to repeatedly interact with the same vehicle surfaces. Surfaces that are known for having high germ concentrations, according to a study conducted by Expedia.

In case you’ve never thought about it, here are just some of the high-touch surfaces at play:

  • Steering wheels
  • Front consoles
  • Seats
  • Arm rests
  • Head rests
  • Door handles
  • Grab rails
  • Cup holders
  • AC vents
  • Seat belts
  • Internal and external compartments
  • Removable equipment

There’s simply no way for a crew to do their job without touching these surfaces. The only way to stay safe is to ensure proper disinfection.

Quick turnarounds

Everyone loves fast, easy-to-use solutions. However, fire departments have a particular need for them.

In emergency services, downtime is unpredictable and prone to disruption. There is no way to safely take emergency vehicles out of service for a prolonged sanitization procedure after every use. This means foggers and UV sanitization are largely off the table. Many of those systems take 30 minutes or more to finish the job.

Wiping down by hand can go faster, but it increases cross-contamination risk. Particularly in the complicated interiors of vehicles. The cleaner needs to use handholds to access every surface. Each time a surface is touched, they are potentially exposed to the contagions they’re trying to eliminate.

Then of course there’s the frustration. Contorting and straining to reach everything can try anyone’s patience. That frustration often leads to rushed cleaning and missed spots.

Sanitizing sprayers for emergency vehicles

The fastest solution for sanitizing and disinfecting is a high-quality airless or electrostatic sprayer. However, not all models are the right fit for vehicle interiors. It doesn’t really matter how powerful a sprayer is if it can’t fit in to the space it needs to disinfect.

If the dominant focus for disinfection is vehicles, then handheld models like the Victory VP200ES Cordless Electrostatic Sprayer are ideal. They will save money, both on initial equipment purchase and on long-term chemical use. They are also small, extremely lightweight, and plenty powerful. This allows them to reach every corner of a vehicle interior in mere minutes.

However, certain situations may demand a larger model. For example, if several emergency vehicles need to be disinfected in one pass. Or, if large vehicle exteriors also need to be worked on. In these instances, a handheld may not provide enough reach. Depending on the scale you’re looking at, an electrostatic or combination electrostatic/airless backpack may be better suited to the task.

The Graco SaniSpray ProPack 3-in-1 is particularly good for reaching heights without a ladder. The airless technology it employs projects droplets further, letting the operator stay put while covering more surface area.

If you’ll be sanitizing your vehicles and your garage at the same time, though, then even higher capacity models may be worth considering. Our how to choose a sprayer blog is a good place to start if you’re not sure which sanitizing solution is right for your department.

Every crew, every department, and every facility has unique factors to consider. EnviroPro Solutions has the experience to help you make a sound choice that not only gets the job done, but saves you and your team time and money. Get in touch at [email protected] or by phone at 1-763-296-4449.