Posted by Linda Kramer
To help First Responders sanitize vehicles and equipment, the Rotary Club of Berea has donated a mobile disinfection device to the Berea Fire Department.
The Diversey MoonBeam 3 uses ultraviolet light to kill bacteria and viruses on hard surfaces.
Assistant Fire Chief Tom Emling said that ambulances are wiped down after each run with sanitary wipes. “They kill about 50 percent of the bacteria and viruses,” Emling said. “This (the MoonBeam 3) kills 99.9 percent.”
This method also takes less time. Hand-cleaning a squad can take 20 minutes or more to get to hard-to-reach areas. The MoonBeam takes 3-5 minutes. That means firefighters and paramedics have less turnaround time to handle runs for emergency calls.
Fire Chief Mark Kaufhold said that Southwest General Health Center uses a MoonBeam 3 in operating rooms and the emergency room. The hospital has purchased a second unit to be used by local fire departments when they deliver patients to the ER. The Middleburg Heights Fire Department also uses a Moonbeam 3.
Kaufhold said Berea’s MoonBeam will be used throughout the fire station to make sure living areas are germ-free.
Emling said the unit is “much like a tanning bed only stronger. It’ll kill C. diff (Clostridioides difficile – a bacteria that causes diarrhea and colitis). That’s how strong it is.”
The three arms of the MoonBeam each emit ultraviolet light. The arms can be adjusted to multiple directions – up, down and sideways – to reach all the nooks and crannies. The ultraviolet light bulbs are good for around 600 hours.
The unit is operated remotely. During a demonstration, Emling placed the unit in a squad, shutting all the doors tightly. He programmed the timer and pressed the start button from a remote control nearby. The unit has a motion sensor. If someone opens the door or a person is detected within the squad, the MoonBeam automatically shuts off. The MoonBeam must be operated in unoccupied areas because of the intensity of the UVC.
The MoonBeam 3 is manufactured by Codonics Inc. and distributed by Daylight Medical – both based in Middleburg Heights. The unit retails for $31,000.  As a special during the coronavirus pandemic, Codonics offered the device to Berea for $24,900. The Berea Rotary Foundation picked up the cost.
Berea Rotarian David Skrzynski, a past club president and past district governor, said he saw a story on a television newscast about the Middleburg Heights MoonBeam and brought the idea to the Berea Club to consider. “It was the right thing to do,” he said.
Berea Assistant Fire Chief Tom Emling, left, and Fire Chief Mark Kaufhold, right,
demonstrate the MoonBeam 3 for Bob Huge, president of the Rotary Club of Berea.