Mich. ambulance service using ultraviolet lights to disinfect vehicles

The service says the ultraviolet C lights can be activated remotely and sanitize an ambulance in about two minutes


Caitlyn French
MLive.com, Walker, Mich.

SAGINAW, Mich. — A Saginaw-based ambulance service is taking proactive steps to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

Mobile Medical Response recently purchased two prototype ultraviolet C lights from a Saginaw vendor as a high-tech way to disinfect ambulances. Ultraviolet C light can kill viruses.

A UVC lamp seen in operation inside of an MMR ambulance on Tuesday, April 7, 2020 in Saginaw, Mich. (Photo/Riley Yuan, MLive.com)
A UVC lamp seen in operation inside of an MMR ambulance on Tuesday, April 7, 2020 in Saginaw, Mich. (Photo/Riley Yuan, MLive.com)

According to MMR, the two lights have been used successfully so far in their fleet. MMR has ordered seven more units that have not yet arrived from US Lighting.

“We believe this technology will assist us in keeping our staff, patients, and communities as safe as possible," said Jason MacDonald, vice president of operations for MMR.

The lights are activated remotely from outside the vehicle for the crew’s safety and can disinfect and sanitize the interior of an ambulance in approximately two minutes, according to MMR. The lights can also be repurposed to disinfect rooms with adjusted sanitization times, MMR said.

MMR is using a two-light hanging system designed specifically with MMR units in mind. The concept for the product came from lights designed for HVAC systems.

“The technology of UVC light for sanitization and disinfection has been out for decades," said Linda Bommarito, president of US Lighting.

The UVC lights are not meant to replace regular sanitary procedures in ambulances and the plan is to use them in addition to standard cleaning practices. MMR stated that it is continuing to follow the safety guidelines provided by the CDC and local health departments for patients and its crews.

“We appreciate the hard work and dedication of our employees. Their safety is our top priority as we work through this unprecedented crisis,” MacDonald said.

MMR is urging that people continue to maintain social distancing and follow Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order as a way to keep everyone, including the first responders who arrive to deliver assistance in an emergency, as safe as possible.

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©2020 MLive.com, Walker, Mich.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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