©1999 - 2012
Edward D. Reuss
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Police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel have always known about the risks to their health.  What active or retired cop doesn’t recall the dangers of being contaminated with Hepatitis B and  C or the HIV Virus while making arrests or handling victims at the scenes of crimes or accidents?   Now, we have a new and frightening infection known as “Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus” or MRSA.   MRSA is a particularly feared infection and is sometimes called: the ” flesh-eating bacteria”MRSA is very resistant to antibiotics.   However, other hospital acquired infections are also to be feared. 

 The presence of human blood and other body fluids with possible blood-borne pathogens were a fact of life for any emergency personnel on a daily basis.   Cops are trained to administer CPR to victims of heart attack, electric shock, and similar life-threatening scenarios.    The obvious reason for this training is the fact that cops are usually the first responders to such incidents.  They are, in most cases, the first to arrive at the scene.  As ”first reponders”, they must make the initial decisions and engage in the immediate “triage” of the victims pending the arrival of emergency medical personnel.   Media accounts of such incidents will oftentimes show cops and firefighters with bloodstains on their uniforms and equipment.

 This problem has always been recognized by emergency managers.  However,   in recent years, the emergency services and medical services in general have been faced with increasingly serious threats to their personnel and the public in general.  The contamination of ambulances, police holding areas, police vehicles, firefighting equipment, as well as hospital emergency rooms is a problem that needs to be examined. 

Hospital acquired infections are increasing at an alarming rate. Who doesn’t  have a friend or relative who has been been infected with a staphylococcus bacterial infection or other hospital acquired infection?    The Staten Island Advance has recently reported the frightening story of two women who became seriously ill with Meningitis after giving birth in one of the leading medical centers of New York City.   


Recently, I  attended the 2nd Annual Law Enforcement Expo at the Javits Center in New York City.  One of the exhibition booths had a presentation of a decontamination product called “Zimek Systems”.    Mr. Wayne Lutz explained how the Zimek System utilizes a non-corrosive “dri-mist” disinfectant to safely kill infectious contaminants including viruses, bacteria, and toxic mold.   Mr. Lutz demonstrated how ambulances, operating rooms, and other medical facilities could be decontaminated with the Zimek System.
The brochures report the successful use of the Zimek System in medical facilities such as The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and emergency service vehicles in the City of Reading, Pennsylvania.  The Kennedy Space Center in Florida has also used the services of Zimek System.  Mr. Lutz advised that the Zimek System has a Power Point Presentation for interested hospital administrators.

 For more information, visit the website of the Zimek Systems at WWW.ZIMEK.COM

Ed Reuss with Wayne Lutz of Zimek Systems
2nd Annual Law Enforcement Expo  Photo by NY Cop Online Magazine

The issue of decontamination of facilities is not restricted to medical facilities.  Since cops, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel are exposed to these pathogens on a daily basis, police and fire departments should recognize that their personnel and facilities could be points of infection.  Prisons, cells and holding areas in precincts, as well as fire department facilities need to be examined and decontaminated if needed.  The safety of our children in the school environment could benefit from the decontamination of the food facilities, as well as restrooms and other points of possible contamination.  

The fact is that in many work environments, including airplanes, the same air is circulated throughout the building or facility during the entire year. In these closed environments,  employees are using the same telephones, work areas, and rest areas that in all likelihood will have the presence of bacteria and viruses.   We all recall the horrific effects of the Legionnaire’s Disease that resulted from contaminated air-conditioning reservoirs in large buildings.   With the threat of Terrorism in the workplace ,  the use of a system such as Zimek is a tool that may be vital to the recovery stage in acts of terrorism and other Critical Incidents.  The need for a system such as the Zimek System seems obvious.    



Copyright © 2008 Edward D. Reuss


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