FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue has been using ozone to help disinfect their vehicles, including ambulances, during the coronavirus pandemic.

The department, which responds to more than 100 calls per day, uses Bioplanet, which sanitizes surfaces, but with COVID-19 being aggressive and airborne, they had to think outside of the box.

“One of the biggest challenges was to get ahead of the virus by properly disinfecting not only the personnel that are responding to these calls, but also to the trucks that we were transporting these patients in,” Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Batallion Chief Stephen Gollan said.

The Sanity System is able to create ozone or O3, an unstable molecule that breaks down anything it comes in contact with, including 99.99% of viruses.

“It takes oxygen and turns it into ozone,” Gollan said. “It takes about 20 minutes for us to disinfect the back of the truck. By the time it’s run through its complete process, it’s taken the ozone and switched it back to oxygen, so it’s completely safe to be inside.”

The system is from Italy, and it has been used in 18 countries. FLFR are using the system at every fire station, and Gollan believes the system has led to minimal cases of COVID-19 within the department.

“We believe that it’s working,” Gollan said. “We’re an organization of 485 personnel with 412 personnel that are your first responders going out to calls, and as of [Thursday], we only have one individual that’s tested positive.”

The system helps stop cross-contamination and, possibly, saves lives.

“Our firefighters are like family,” Gollan said. “We’re together every third day, and you of course want to take care of your family, but we also want to take care of the community that we serve.”

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