CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) – The Circleville Police Department is using a decontamination station in case any officers are exposed or possibly exposed to COVID-19 while out on a call. The station has which has several different steps and is located is in the department’s garage, which is usually used for car maintenance and washing.
“We wanted something that would help eliminate that risk should any of our officers be exposed to COVID-19,” said Sgt. Matthew Hafey.
If there is any concern an officer has been exposed, they can go through the station. First, they have to disinfect their cruiser. Then they clean their equipment. That’s followed by a section with a washing room to clean their uniform and all of their clothes. After that is a shower and finally an area to get dressed before a paperwork station. The entire decontamination station is in the garage so officers never have to go inside the building.
A team of officers leave clean clothes and get the system ready before the possibly contaminated officers arrive. Sgt. Hafey says any first responders in Pickaway County can use the decontamination station.
“It’s part of our mission to help out, all of us, to make sure we go home,” he said. “It’s a great feeling we’re able to provide this for first responders in Pickaway County.”
On Thursday, the decontamination station was used for two local firefighters who were exposed to someone with COVID-19 on a medical call. After the decontamination station is used, it’s then cleaned three times.
Sgt. Hafey says officers’ jobs have changed immensely due to the coronavirus, so the decontamination system is another way to help protect them.
“Every day we walk out the door we never know what’s going to happen. It’s always dangerous,” he said. “Now, it’s even more dangerous because this is a hidden enemy that we can’t see.”