Dells-Lake Delton Emergency Management announced its acquisition of a new facemask decontamination site, giving citizens access to a more thorough method of keeping personal protective equipment sanitary.
The new device, known as the Germicidal UV-C Radiation Chamber, uses UV light to neutralize any contaminants, according to Emergency Management Director Darren Jorgenson. He said past studies have shown the UV to be 99.9 percent effective against bacteria and viruses, including COVID-19.
In an effort to spread the safety effort across the Dells-Delton community, any members of the public are welcome to bring their safety equipment in for decontamination. Jorgenson said any community members looking to clean personal protective equipment simply have to proceed through a short orientation before using the device.
“We’re not restricting it from anybody,” Jorgenson said. “Before anybody does use it, they would need to do a couple things, like watch a 10-minute instructional video, then we’ll just show them to where it is and how it works. It’s very, very basic, it’s very easy to operate.”
Jorgenson and his team first installed the device May 15, on the recommendation of one of its personnel members. Delton Fire Department employee Kevin Wernet also works with the Wisconsin Department of Emergency Management, which recently procured several of the UV devices for distribution across the state.
“This is an important opportunity for the State of Wisconsin to provide technical support to local governments to ensure they can improve the safety of their community,” Wernet said in a news release about the device. “This is the kind of technology that will save lives as we look to maximize the use of PPE.”
One of Wernet’s roles at the DEM is the distribution of personal protective equipment across Wisconsin, and in those efforts, his team came across the success UV lights can have against harmful bacteria and viruses. Wernet passed the technology along to Jorgenson, who agreed to install one of the devices at the fire/EMS complex in Lake Delton.
Lake Delton has one of only 10 state-purchased germicidal chambers. Jorgenson said that some private organizations have also moved to bring in the UV devices, but as of Friday, the 10 have been distributed regionally across Wisconsin to maximize access.
“From what we know, we are the only location that has the device available for our private sector partners,” Jorgenson said. “We’re kind of a unique location, with our tourism and businesses opening back up again, so we felt it was a good opportunity to provide this resource to our private sector partners, to make sure they have adequate facemasks.”
Any citizens looking to use the germicidal chamber can reach out to the Delton Emergency Management Department at 608-254-8404, and schedule a time Monday-Friday between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.
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