Keeping everyone healthy is paramount for public safety teams. Cold and flu season is upon us. And this year we are working together to #flattenthecurve of COVID-19. For those of you serving our communities at Public Safety Answering Points, from Critical Systems hubs, and Air Traffic Control locations, these three tips increase your ability to remain healthy.
TIP #1: Make a Habit of Hand Washing
You can help yourself and your loved ones stay healthy by washing your hands often. At minimum, wash during these key times when you are likely to get and spread germs:
- Before and after sitting in a communal space
- Before, during, and after preparing and eating food
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After using the toilet
- Before and after caring for someone who is sick or wounded
- After handling pets, pet food, pet treats, pet waste
- After touching garbage
Best Practice: Follow These Five Hand Washing Steps Every Time.
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap.
Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
Hand Sanitizers & Disinfectant Can Help in the Fight Against COVID-19
Hand sanitizer can help protect you from coronavirus, but it should not be considered your first line of defense against COVID-19.
“Hand washing with soap and water and scrubbing for at least 20 seconds is recommended, but a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol is the best alternative,” says Richard Watkins, M.D., infectious disease physician and professor of medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University.
Coronaviruses are “enveloped viruses” explains David Cennimo, M.D., assistant professor of medicine-pediatrics infectious disease at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. This means they have an outer membrane or envelope, which are known to be killed or inactivated by alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
Pictured at right: The Sanitation Station mounts to the slatwall array at each 911 Dispatcher console, keeping hand sanitizer within reach. For information on this and the disinfectants wipe holder, contact us today.
Best Practice: 2-Step Hand Sanitizing
- Apply the gel product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount).
- Rub the gel over ALL the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry.
This should take around 20 seconds.
TIP #2: Sanitize PSAP Hot Spots Regularly
The CDC is recommending frequent wipe downs of high touch surfaces using a household cleaning spray or wipe. In mission critical team environments, these include the following:
- heat and light switches
- agency phones
- keyboards & mice
- personal phones
Use disinfectant wipe on hard, nonporous surfaces include console furniture surfaces, handles, pulls, and other high-touch surfaces. Wipe surface to be disinfected. Use enough wipes for treated surface to remain visibly wet for 4 minutes. Let surface dry.
TIP #3: Ensure There is Good Airflow At Your PSAP
Air quality is something we take for granted in our office environment. What we don’t realize is that poor air quality leads to fatigue and increases your risk of picking up airborne germs. Plus, closed air systems can recirculate sick air. Remember to open windows when you can. Your facility should maintain healthful air filters, changing them according to the manufacturers recommendations.
And add office plants were possible to improve air quality. Not only do plants naturally filter the air, they have shown to positively impact people’s sense of well-being.
This year we are experiencing an unprecedented exposure to flu-like illness. Let’s put best practices in place and help keep our teams and families healthy.