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Hillsborough firefighters get equipment to protect them from coronavirus

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue now has Active Air Purification Systems in trucks, ambulances to help clean the air when out on a call.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Personnel safety is Hillsborough County Fire Rescue's highest priority. So they're getting new equipment to make sure crews are protected. 

The newest addition to firefighter safety in their cars are Active Air Purification Systems.  

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue is installing 63 of them in fire trucks, ambulances, ladder trucks and other vehicles. 

They're designed with advanced photo-hydro-ionization and UV technology. They kill 99 percent of pathogens, including COVID-19, in the air and on surfaces. 

That means better air quality and a safer cab environment, giving crews another level of protection.

 "It gives them peace of mind so to speak, because every day is a challenge right now. Not only a challenge to go on the emergency calls we're going on right now, but being challenged responding during a pandemic. And it helps keep my staffing levels up and keeps my folks safe to respond to every kind of emergency with family members and citizens of the community," says Deputy Chief Jason Dougherty with Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.

The Active Air Purification Systems are compact too, which allows them to be mounted in different places inside the cabs while still being functional. That made it easy to fit them in the crews cars. 

The units were $2,000 each, funded by the county through the CARES act. 

They also help with the "clean cab initiative" by helping take some of the carcinogens out of cabs as well. 

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