Florida firefighters hope COVID-19 killer helps first responders
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Retired Florida firefighter Robert Amick knows seconds can save lives.
And, after three decades of rushing to fight flames, it's an RV, not a firetruck, that carries his team all around Florida.
They're demonstrating a COVID-19 killing specialized mixture of aerosolized water and salt, and the machine that dispenses it, to anyone who will listen.
“They’ve been instrumental in getting the word out and also fogging several facilities in preparation for reopening,” said David Pobiak, the Director of Business Development and Strategic Alliances for Paerosol Global Partners.
Pobiak believes Paerosol's product will protect millions from COVID-19, and Amick see's how it could change firefighters lives, too.
"That's our entire business, is firefighters," Amick, who is the Executive Director of the Florida State Firefighters Association, said.
The non-profit, in conjunction with the State Fire Marshal, runs the Disaster Response Team, which is deployed in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, like Hurricane Michael.
In the days after the storm, the team jumped into action, helping patch up rural fire departments and make sure first responders and their families are taken care of.
"Tarp their roofs for them, we chainsaw their trees, we feed their families," Amick said, "And we do that so the firefighters and the emergency personnel can stay on the job.
Amick adds their budget ranges from $60,000 to $120,000 a year; it's money that comes from fundraising and donations to an annual magazine. Paerosol has pledged a portion of it's profits to the organization, which Amick says could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
"If this takes off, we no longer have to go around the edges and scrape and crunch and crawl and try to find money," Amick said.
The relationship was cultivated quickly, but the product wasn't.
Studies by the U.S. Government and the University of Colorado proved it worked to kill other dangerous pathogens long before COVID-19 existed.
"We've been planning this for several years as we took on the technology," Pobiak said. "So, this is not something we just started. Our motive is to provide a safer environment, wherever that may be."
"These guys were solid, they were doing a genuine thing," added Amick.
So, as the clock ticks, Amick knows seconds waste.
"If we can get rid of this virus, any way, shape or form, you've got to give me the the opportunity to get it there," he said.
More road awaits.
The FSFA has a phone number, 1-800-883-4817, and a free app you can download to get in contact with them and learn more about the services they offer.
Apple users may download the app by
You can also reach out if you want to be involved with the Disaster Response Team, which Amick says many citizens help out with.