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Pantex fire, Potter County fire and AMS all using new COVID-19 precautions as cases in community rise

By Taylor Mitchell | November 23, 2020 at 5:32 PM CST – Updated November 23 at 6:21 PM

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) – The Pantex Fire Department and Potter County Fire Department will expect new machines to disinfect equipment, vehicles and stations.

During the pandemic, AMS has been using a fogger system to disinfect areas and vehicles.

The Pantex Fire Department has a new hypochlorous acid machine in order to disinfect their station and equipment to help protect their plant employees, responders and the community from the coronavirus.

The department has a hypochlorous acid machine on order to disinfect equipment and trucks to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

They have also been taking other precautions such as following COVID-19 guidelines like wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing at their station.

The machine is CDC approved and there is quite a demand for this type of system, so it has not been delivered yet.

Right now, the department is using a different CDC approved disinfectant.

The department took a creative approach and attached their current disinfectant to a spray gun and hooked it on to one of their air packs.

Three times a day, a firefighter goes through the station to spray down the area and surfaces with the device.

“The hypochlorous acid is just a disinfectant. It’s just a way to disperse the disinfectant into the air to get it onto the surfaces so that it penetrates more. And it allows us, one, it’s not going to take so much time to disinfect all of these surfaces, but it will save us just that little amount of time and it is actually going to improve our ability to disinfect our equipment,” said Bobby Napp, captain at Pantex Fire Department.

The machine is used to spray the disinfectant in the air and the mist settles on the floors and equipment to help kill the virus.

The station is also lining the inside of their ambulances with plastic to keep the patient safe from touching anything on the inside.

This morning the Potter County commissioners court approved the fire department to receive a $19,000 hands free disinfecting system to be shared with all six stations.

“The system basically is a fogger system that uses a version of hydrogen peroxide. You put the device into a truck that possible had an exposure, and then it fogs the entire truck with particles of the hydrogen peroxide that are smaller than even smoke. That touches all of the surfaces that virus could have gotten onto and then kills it to make sure that it’s safe for the next crew that would ride in that truck,” said Steven Denny, PIO for Potter County fire and rescue.

The department has been trying to get something in place since the pandemic started but Denny says since a lot of these systems were quickly bought by private businesses, they’ve had trouble getting a hold of them. He expects a quick delivery for this new machine.

“And the good thing about the system that we’ve chosen is, it doesn’t damage any of the materials inside the truck and it doesn’t require us to take all of the equipment out in order to do it,” said Denny.

AMS also continues to follow CDC guidelines with disinfectant solutions that are EPA N list approved.

“Our care providers continue to follow extensive CDC guidelines and direction from our national medical and safety teams to ensure proper decontamination of the ambulances in our fleet,” AMS spokesperson.

An AMS statement says the department is using CDC approved solutions to disinfect areas with a concrobium fogging unit that is sprayed in the vehicles to ensure they are fully disinfected.

“AMS employees use the Concrobium Fogging Unit with CDC-approved solution to ensure the vehicles are fully disinfected,” AMS spokesperson.

First responders in the area continue to use their resources in order serve and protect the community during this time.