Chattanooga-Based Company On The Frontline Of Ebola Response

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The transport of patients who have contracted the Ebola virus from West Africa to sites in America including Emory University, the University of Nebraska, and the National Institutes of Health has involved rigorous containment protocols and infectious disease decontamination measures directed and implemented by SafetyPlus, LLC, a single source company specializing in solutions in highly critical environments.

SafetyPlus’ Biological Emergency Response Team has been on the frontline of various aspects of the decontamination of transportation vehicles, treatment facilities, and infectious disease terminal cleanup involved in dealing with the deadly Ebola virus since Aug. 2. 

“The urgent and critical nature of moving these patients to facilities for treatment has involved the priority of their care and safety while isolating and destroying any live virulent from their personal effects, the transport vehicles, and the treatment settings,” noted Clay Wardlaw, president and chief operating officer of SafetyPlus, LLC.  “Our Biological Emergency Response Team’s experience and training in using the most advanced techniques and technologies has proven successful.  Our solutions have been validated and meet the requirements of the Centers for Disease Control.” 

Response to the West African Ebola outbreak since the late summer includes six patients transported to U.S. medical centers.  Those have included five from Liberia, three of which were treated at Emory University Hospital and two at the Nebraska Medical Center of Omaha. One physician from Sierra Leone was transported to the National Institutes of Health Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland.  Most recently, nurses who tested Ebola-positive were transported within the United States to Emory University Hospital and the NIH for treatment. 

SafetyPlus professionals work in several stages of the process to provide public safety through procedures involved in the infectious disease terminal clean up and decontamination of treatment facilities and equipment exposed or potentially exposed during the treatment of patients with the Ebola virus. 

“The SafetyPlus team came onboard as a subcontractor to Phoenix Air at the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, following their development of approved decontamination protocols and processes we use after the transport of an Ebola-infected patient in one of our specially equipped aircraft,” according to a Phoenix Air spokesperson. 

The private contract aviation company flies a specially-equipped Gulfstream GIII featuring an aeromedical biological containment system to safely transport patients in a tent-like structure that uses a negative-pressure ventilation system to prevent the escape of any contaminants. 

“The SafetyPlus professionals are essential to our rapid response during critical missions transporting individuals infected with the virus from Western Africa to both the United States and Europe," said the Phoenix Air spokesman.  "SafetyPlus decontamination teams are an important part of our response program in their ability to thoroughly decontaminate and clean the aircraft after each mission, meeting or exceeding national and international safety standards, and preparing each aircraft in a timely manner to be ready for its next mission.  Without question, we trust SafetyPlus’ professionalism, efficiency and thoroughness to ensure the safety of our flight crews, medical crews and aircraft mechanics as they operate around the world in our air ambulance Gulfstream aircraft.” 

SafetyPlus methodically and stringently achieves decontamination of the ABCS through containment of hazardous waste for incineration followed by stages of treatment with Bioquell, Inc.’s hydrogen peroxide vapor.  Monitoring with biological and chemical indicators are utilized to return the vehicle and equipment to compliance criteria set by the CDC. 

“SafetyPlus trained staff and Biological Response Team works seamlessly with transportation and treatment teams to ensure containment and decontamination to return the facility and equipment to a certified state for reuse,” continued Mr. Wardlaw, who leads the Chattanooga-based company. 

Healthcare treatment facilities incorporate the SafetyPlus team in their infectious disease response in the decontamination and certification of their high containment units, negative-pressure isolation rooms, and other critical environments and equipment to be returned to compliance standards following treatment. 

“Public safety is the top priority in dealing with infectious disease,” Mr. Wardlaw declared.  “The need for error-free processes and procedures and the application of specific decontaminants are part of the solutions the SafetyPlus team utilizes to meet the needs during such critical situations.” 

SafetyPlus, LLC is a family-owned and operated company as well as a WBENC-certified, woman owned business. Headquartered in Chattanooga, SafetyPlus is a single source Certification and Compliance provider specializing in certification and compliance, maintenance and repair, reporting and quality control for healthcare, pharmaceutical, universities and corporations meeting the regulatory mandates of the Department of Health & Human Services, the Joint Commission, the International Organization of Standardization, among many other international and federal governing and regulatory bodies. 

SafetyPlus, LLC offices are located in Atlanta, Georgia, Orlando, Florida, West Palm Beach, Florida, and Chattanooga. 

For more information, visit www.SafetyPlusLLC.com or contact Robin Smith at Robin@RiversEdgeAlliance.org or 314-6047.


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