The Stevenson Volunteer Fire Department is doing its best to combat the Coronavirus while keeping local restaurants, gas stations and other businesses open. Every night, the department is cleaning several storefronts around the city to try and stop the spread of Coronavirus.

Volunteer Fire Department Captain Luke Ballard said they are doing this to promote local businesses.

“We are a small-town department, and we want to promote our small-town businesses,” said Ballard. “We want people to stay here and buy their food, groceries and gas here. The city depends on that tax revenue.”

The way the department is cleaning the outside of these businesses is different from what someone may expect. They are not spraying the windows and doors with Lysol or Windex. They are driving up to the businesses, spraying the whole outside with a foam solution, they let the solution sit for five minutes and then another truck follows and rinses the foam off the business.

Ballard said they are using a “helicopter washer” to spray the foam solution, which is similar to the foam they use to put out fires with a 10% bleach and water mixture. Ballard said they have been working with a chemical company to develop a cheap alternative to fight fires, and now it is helping fight COVID-19.

Ballard said they are cleaning the businesses every night at 9 p.m. They have cleaned 18 critical businesses so far, including restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, etc. He said they are spraying windows, doors, shopping carts, gas pumps and anything else that people can touch.

He said he can already tell a vast improvement in how clean the city is since they started the cleaning project.

Ballard said the department is also handing out care packages to Stevenson residents. The care packages have a mask, hand sanitizer and an information kit to help people stay safe and informed during this time. He said they have had the supplies for the packages for about a year.

He said the department has handed out the care packages to about 600 to 800 residents.

Ballard said the department is doing these things because it cares about the city and the people who live there.

“We are always prepared to help people,” said Ballard. We might be in a small town, but we want to show people that we still care.”

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