Going above and beyond the call of duty is a phrase you’ll often hear in regards to first responders, but the City of Mt. Pleasant is taking the old adage to a whole different level.
When it comes to protecting police officers and members of the fire department from COVID-19, a task made all the more important for a group of people that don’t get to work from home, Mt. Pleasant has taken plenty of precautions - outfitting them with personal protective equipment like N95 masks and gloves. Squad cars and fire engines are sanitized at the end of their runs. So, too, are the vehicles in the fleet of the Department of Public Works.
The City has also taken the extra step of applying ultraviolet light to the departments’ equipment and vehicles, a practice recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, further helping to eliminate the presence of the virus.
Two ultraviolet light machines have been purchased at a cost of $1,500 each, a price well worth it to protect the health and safety of city workers, says Doug Lobsinger, assistant chief for the Mt. Pleasant Fire Department and coordinator for the Neighborhood Resource Unit.
"This gives us the ability to further sanitize our vehicles. It doesn’t replace good old fashioned elbow grease, we still sanitize everything, but using these helps," he says.
The UV light machines are applied to each section of a vehicle for 15 minutes, three times the recommended length of time. The N95 masks are also bathed in UV light, allowing departments to safely extend the life of personal protective equipment that is in high demand but short supply.
Even the streetsweepers are receiving the UV light treatment, Lobsinger says.
"This let’s everybody know that we are taking things seriously and that they should, too."
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