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First responders using special device to remain safe during pandemic

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DES MOINES, Iowa (WHO13)— Although Iowa’s hospitalizations are slightly down compared to the rest of the country, first responders in Des Moines say one device is helping to slow the spread of the coronavirus to first responders. 

The device is called an electrostatic sprayer. It combines liquid disinfectant with an electrical charge. The combination creates a powerful disinfectant. 

“It will knock an electron off, meaning that this thing now has a different charge to it,” said Des Moines Fire Department Capt. Bob Suarez. “It has a positive charge so it is attracted to anything that’s either negatively charged or neutrally charged. For instance, if I were to spray this ambulance, instead of the spray just drafting through the air and falling where it may, it will wrap around and create almost a film over everything.” 

So far, every fire department in Des Moines has an electrostatic sprayer. In addition to the electrostatic sprayer, the department also has plenty of PPE gear to keep everyone safe. 

“Nothing is foolproof, but our job is to really reduce the potential of an exposure or a contamination that occurs,” said Suarez.