A Utah fire district faced challenges with the increased cleaning requirements brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The district was spending two to three hours disinfecting each vehicle with manual sprays, wipes, and mops. These methods were also being used in common areas, bunking rooms and other spaces. Faced with staff shortages and increased overtime costs, this impeded their ability to turnover vehicles quickly and safely. With all of this in mind, they sought an alternative solution. Patient and employee safety were the priority as rushed disinfection increased their risk of human error and subsequently, contamination.
Ecolab’s account management team assessed the district’s concerns, evaluating their current procedures and provided a package to address these specific areas requiring improvement.
The district had 12 ambulances as well as other emergency response vehicles spread across approximately seven different locations. Three Bioquell BQ-EMS systems using Bioquell Hydrogen Peroxide Sterilant* for decontaminating smaller spaces such as vehicles, were selected to handle the vehicle decontaminations between the various locations. These systems allowed the district to decontaminate an ambulance in under one hour, eliminating organisms on exposed surfaces. Additionally, two Bioquell ProteQ units, ideal for larger spaces, were acquired to be used throughout the common areas.
Using these different systems would ensure that no exposed surface would be left untouched in either their vehicles or common areas during their decontamination process. Training was also provided to the staff by Ecolab technical experts to help ensure best practices were followed.
The district was able to significantly reduce the vehicle downtime, placing vehicles back on the road and reducing the labor hours needed for manually cleaning each vehicle and minimizing associated overtime costs.
With the amount of time saved in reducing vehicle disinfection from three hours of manual cleaning to one hour of automated decontamination, it is estimated that a $3,900,000** increase in revenue could be achieved if the fire district were to run at full capacity over a year.
* EPA registration number: 72372-1-86703
**Client calculated and supplied data directly to Ecolab