FORT SMITH, Ark. — This week Fort Smith Fire Chief Phil Christensen presented to the City's Board of Directors an idea to fund the purchase of a hypochlorous acid generator to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the city.
Christensen's request was unanimously approved by the board. The machine will cost $46,000, with FEMA reimbursing up to 75% of the money spent.
Members of the Fort Smith Fire Department have been driving to Tulsa to get 55-gallon drums of hypochlorous that the Tulsa Fire Department was donating.
The Fort Smith Fire department has been tasked with decontamination of public buildings. Christensen said this machine will be a big help.
"With the recent outbreak of COVID‐19, hypochlorous acid (HOCI) has been an ideal solution for decontamination at all our Fire Stations, fire apparatus, contaminated PPE, Police cars, Transit buses, Sanitation trucks, Convention Center, and City Hall," Christensen said in a memo.
Hypochlorous is an acid the body produces to help overcome infections, Christensen said.
"HOCl is a powerful disinfecting and sterilization solution, without the harsh chemicals. It is safe to apply around people, animals and the environment as a preventive measure to eliminate the spread of pathogens. It effectively controls contamination of viral, bacterial and fungal transmission," he said.