How Calvert, Howard counties work to quickly disinfect ambulances

Two Maryland counties recently started using two different methods to quickly disinfect their ambulances.

To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, ambulances have to be thoroughly cleaned after every call, whether a COVID-19 patient was transported in it or not.

In Columbia, a cleaning team is now stationed at Howard County General Hospital from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

When an ambulance arrives and the crew takes a patient inside, the team gets busy disinfecting the ambulance inside and out.

Once the crew is done transferring the patient into the hospital, the ambulance is clean and ready to roll on another call.

In Calvert County, fire and rescue personnel used to clean each ambulance by hand after each call, until a 24/7 decontamination site was set up outside CalvertHealth Medical Center in Prince Frederick.

Now, a private company hired by the county — Pristine Inc. — is using sprayers to decontaminate ambulances and other county vehicles in about 10 or 15 minutes.

“The vehicle decontamination site is one of many steps being taken to safeguard front-line workers and the public,” said Calvert County Public Safety Director Jackie Vaughan. “The public can rest assured that we are taking strong precautions around the clock to make sure it is safe to ride in ambulances and other transport vehicles.”

Montgomery and Prince George’s counties are taking comparable measures.

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Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter turned morning anchor at WTOP News.

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