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Youngstown fire engines heavily disinfected to combat COVID-19

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At least one city firefighter, Capt. Tim Frease, has tested positive for COVID-19

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN)— Youngstown firefighters are beginning the process of disinfecting all of their trucks to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Dan Farinelli, a firefighter who works at Station 15 on McCollum Road, teamed up with Blue Line Ltd., who he also works for, to supply spray guns that firefighters can load with disinfectant.

Crews at Station 1 on Martin Luther King Boulevard were using the spray guns Thursday.

Matt Davies, a firefighter and secretary for Youngstown Professionals Local 312, said the union is also in touch with a company that can disinfect the city’s fire engines.

Micheal Delagarza runs Ranger Recovery and Restoration of Columbiana. Recently, he’s been offering his services to local police and fire departments to clean and sanitize their vehicles using electrostatic spraying equipment.

“It’s kind of like static electricity, so we spray it and it’ll clean down to the surfaces and get 100% coverage so it uses less product and it covers better than a normal sprayer,” said Delagarza.

While the process is meant to make the trucks safer for the men and women using them, Delagarza admits he and his workers are taking a risk getting this close to a potentially lethal virus.

“We’re in full PPE gear when we go out. Bare minimum is masks and gloves, but we do have suits on when we’re going through and spraying,” Delagarza said.

Delagarza said this isn’t a permanent solution and urges his customers to sanitize their offices once a week to keep up with possible contamination. However, he calls a free service his way of giving back to the community and providing first responders a little more peace of mind.

At least one city firefighter, Capt. Tim Frease, has tested positive for COVID-19. Davies said two others are also self-isolating for symptoms.

On Wednesday, a city fire crew of three firefighters assisted paramedics on a call where a person is assumed to have the virus because their spouse has it, Davies said.

Davies said the city fire crew had masks and other protective gear they used to help paramedics with the patient. But when they went back to their station, they decontaminated themselves and threw the gear away.

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