The Fire Department of New York is taking steps to prevent infection after more than a dozen probationary firefighters were diagnosed with the drug-resistant staph infection known as MRSA.
Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said in a memo Thursday that a specialized cleaning company will disinfect showers, locker rooms and other high-risk areas at the fire academy at Randall’s Island over the Labor Day weekend and that trainees’ gear will be laundered with a product that kills MRSA.
Because most of the infections developed from open knee wounds, trainees will now wear knee pads for activities that involve crawling. The department will cover asphalt surfaces where the crawling exercises take place with rubber mats.
Trainees also have been given a special disinfectant, Hibiclens, to use when they shower at home daily.