JCFR adds decontamination unit to its fleet


    The saying ‘better late than never’ couldn’t be more fitting than it was last week for Jackson County Fire and Rescue. Delivered later than expected but with a welcoming group was a decontamination trailer.
    Chief Charlie Brunner constantly looks for areas where his department needs assistance and the funding to make those needs happen. With the onset of the pandemic and COVID, Brunner knew it was his top priority to protect his crew as much as he possibly could.
    Brunner said the funding came from CARES Act funding, “The intention was that we would use it for decontaminating large outbreaks. It took a while for the build, a lot longer than we anticipated, just because one hadn’t been built before. But we also wanted to use it for decontamination at hazardous material scenes, fire scenes because of the cancer initiative in firefighters is really getting large. So, we were going to use the trailer not only for COVID and Corona virus but for firefighter decontamination, personal decontamination. We can use if we have an outbreak, COVID or any other outbreak, we can deploy it to a site and help mitigate the problem. We have different tools and accessories in there. We’ve got a building fogger/sprayer that we got off a Curis machine that uses hydrogen peroxide to kill virus.”
    Brunner said the trailer also came with an air-refill station for the breathing apparatus. He said with decontamination usually comes fires or incidents like hazardous materials where they need to wear their breathing apparatus and that would allow them to refill their bottles on site. This would be helpful in fighting extended fires.
    Brunner said this was approved through CARES funding in December 2020, “That was the end of the first wave of COVID and the second wave coming. This just really readies our department for the future. We can use it for a multitude of different responses.” The unit has an awning with scene lighting in case they are out at night. It can be used for special events, with tents to assist or like in emergency management situations if they are at an extended scene.
    Brunner said receiving something like the decontamination trailer at no cost to the county was a big plus not only for his department but for the county at large.


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