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Century II being used to decontaminate ambulances in fight against COVID-19

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The basement of Century II is being used to help protect first responders and patients against COVID-19 with a drive-thru decontamination center.

The building is usually known for performing arts and large events, but in the fight against coronavirus, local officials have decided to use it for cleaning emergency vehicles.

In the basement, there are workers covered in head to toe with bodysuits while they sanitize the ambulances and other vehicles.

Officials refer to it as a “decon” and said it takes less than 30 minutes for the process.

“It’s been organized where they can come into that space in a secure area, and we can apply the proper materials to it to hopefully get rid of the virus,” said Chief Stuart Bevis, fire marshal at the Wichita Fire Department. “After a short period of time, it can be put back into service.”

City officials were using an electrostatic spray for decontamination at Eisenhower National Airport and city hall and that is the same supply that is being used at Century II.

The hope is to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 between first responders and patients.

“We see it coming,” said Mayor Brandon Whipple. “We see it coming in a model, like on a weather forecast. We want to make sure we slow down the amount of people who get sick all at the same time.”

Mayor Whipple said the city gave the go-ahead for the county to use the building, as well as the old public library if needed.

Whipple said it’s vital to combine all the area’s resources.

“We want to put all the pieces on the table and let the county crisis management team be able to utilize what they need,” said Mayor Whipple.

In order to continue the fight, officials said those working on the front lines have to stay well while protecting the people they’re helping, too.

“We wanna make sure when we put another patient in there that might be from a car accident and has nothing to do with COVID-19, that they’re not being exposed to it and that the workers aren’t,” said Bevis.

Mayor Whipple said the building will be used for as long as needed.

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