This year's flu season has been one of the worst on record. In Tarrant County, MedStar's emergency calls for the flu have gone up 74 percent in the last two months.
In November, paramedics averaged two flu calls per day, but in January, call volume increased to 25 per day. Paramedics are on the front lines of this outbreak, therefore it's imperative they avoid any cross contamination.
"We're seeing more of our employees wearing masks," said Matt Zavadsky, MedStar spokesman. "Of course they wear gloves, but they are also doing different things to disinfect their areas such as excessive hand washing just because of all of this awareness and incredible increase in the flu volume."
Every time an ambulance comes back into the station, the outside is washed, inventory is checked and stocked and the interior cabin is cleaned.
The influenza virus can remain on some surfaces for 24 hours. All surfaces inside of the ambulance are scrubbed clean, from the floors, to the walls, to the doors. The last cleaning tool that is used is a hydrogen peroxide mister.
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"The mister eliminates any type of germs or cross contamination for incoming crews taking the truck out again," said Sheley.
After his shift is over, Sheley has a routine when he arrives home.
"I always take my work boots off, before I go inside of my house. I immediately take a shower, and I make sure to wash my clothes in a separate load from my family," he said.
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