NEWBURGH HEIGHTS, Ohio — Like many fire stations across the country, Newburgh Heights has to keep its station and vehicles clean even more than ever.
- The Newburgh Heights Fire Department is using a Wagner airless sprayer and Zep DZ-7 chemicals to clean equipment, vehicles and the station
- The tool saves the station time and money
- The fire department was hiring a company to disinfect the station once a week, which was too expensive in a time when budgets are getting tight
"I knew that this COVID-19 is going to go on for 12 to 18 months, and so we had to come up with a way to solve making sure the station is disinfected and our apparatus for the protection of our firefighters and then also our residents, knowing that we’re maintaining disinfecting our squads and our apparatus," said Brian Higginbotham, fire chief for the Newburgh Heights Fire Department. "They (the company) were charging $25 a vehicle and then $450 for the station. So obviously, we do it once a week, so if you do this once a week, you know, in a month’s time, obviously you know you’re talking about $1800 to $2200 and that’s something I can’t afford out of our budget."
And with cleaning supplies like wipes in short supply, Higginbotham had to get creative. He researched what other fire stations were doing, and decided to start using a Wagner airless sprayer and Zep DZ-7 chemicals. After attaching the disinfectant to the spray gun, cleaning moves fast and effectively.
"It saves us time. If we catch a COVID-19 call, once we come back here at our station, we’ll switch them out, disinfect the squad completely, 100 percent, and then rotate the squads," said Higginbotham.
And Higginbotham’s creative mind isn’t just helping his own crew. After the city posted a video of the cleaning process on its Facebook, other departments around the area have started to reach out.
"I’m just trying to help people out. There’s no way we can continue to have a company come in for 12 to 18 months disinfecting the station and our apparatus. Our budget is so tight here at the Newburgh Heights Fire Department that I have to find ways to keep our cost down and this was one way of us doing it ourselves," Higginbotham said.
It's a creative way of saving money — and potentially saving lives.