TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — Tulsa firefighters now have another tool to try to keep first responders from getting COVID-19.
They’re using out-of-date tanks to fight back against the virus.
“We aren’t allowed to breathe from these tanks anymore, because they have an expiration date,” said Andy Little, with the fire department. “But they still hold air and they still spray.”
He said they’re now filling up their old SCBA tanks with hypochlorous acid.
It's a disinfectant that recently got approved by the CDC as something that can safely clean surfaces.
“This product works,” Little said. “It has a 60-second kill time, and it doesn’t have to be wiped away, meaning you can spray this on your equipment, let it sit, and it’s not going to damage anything.”
Little said a few of the firefighters in Tulsa were already making this chemical at home to disinfect things around the house.
Once the CDC approved it, those firefighters donated 2,000 gallons of it to the department.
The fire department has already used these sprayers on the 911 dispatch center, in Tulsa police cars, and their own trucks and gear.
“Not only is it efficient in killing germs but reducing the anxiety that some of our police officers and first responders have a clean environment. That’s important,” said Little.
He said this gives first responders across the city another way to stay safe from COVID-19.
Tulsa fire is getting a machine installed to produce 500 gallons of hypochlorous acid a day.
Little said they plan to continue using this method during flu season as well.