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Employees from Newton’s sanitize Danville Police Department cruisers Monday morning at the Public Safety Building.

DANVILLE – The vehicles and fire trucks at several area law enforcement agencies and fire departments are cleaner and safer for first responders thanks to the efforts of a longtime Danville business.

Since late last week, Newton’s Cleaning & Restoration has been donating their services to the Danville Police Department, Danville Fire Department, Tilton and Oakwood police departments and the Oakwood Area and Tilton fire protection districts by disinfecting their fleets of vehicles and trucks.

“We want to protect Vermilion County,” Erin Forsyth, Newton’s business development consultant, said. “We all live and work here, so we want to keep everyone safe.

“Businesses have a lot of challenges now, so we thought about what we could do to keep our employees working and help our community at the same time,” she said.

Newton’s technicians were at the Public Safety Building twice this week, once on Monday to disinfect half of the Danville Police Department’s squad cars and investigator’s vehicles and then returning Wednesday to disinfect the other half of the fleet that had been in use on Monday.

“It’s a two-step process we use to administer our Healthy Places program,” Forsyth said.

“The first step is to disinfect. To do that, we fog the interior to get in the nooks and crannies,” she explained. “The second step is we apply an anti-microbial product used in hospitals that protects up to 30 days. The protective coating sticks to the surface and doesn’t come off.”

Although the non-toxic, anti-microbial product is in high demand right now during the COVID-19 pandemic, “we were able to get our hands on it,” Forsyth said.

“Since officers are in their vehicles all day long, we wanted to do this for them,” she added. “Our first responders are so important, and we want to give them peace of mind.”

Newton’s technicians disinfected a total of 40 Danville Police vehicles.

“We cleaned whatever they had,” Forsyth said.

“They reached out to us,” Danville Police Chief Christopher Yates said Wednesday. “I think it was very generous and community-minded of them to offer their services, and it provides another layer of protection for our officers.

“The officers have been sanitizing their cars before and after each use, and after each time a person is transported,” Yates said.

“We’re hitting the cars three times with the officers, our fleet maintenance people and Newton’s disinfecting them,” he said. “We hope to stay on top of it because we’re in the public every day and we take that risk every day.”

On Tuesday, Newton’s disinfected six frontline fire apparatus trucks, the battalion chief’s vehicle and a couple other vehicles, according to Danville Fire Chief Don McMasters.

“We’re ecstatic over them doing that,” McMasters said Wednesday. “I’ve been purchasing cleaning equipment for three weeks – hand sanitizer and cleaning agents – to use in our vehicles and living areas.

“At an EMS scene, you handle the patient and you might bring something back in the truck where there are two other guys,” he explained. “Then the next day three different guys are in that truck, and the day after that, three more different guys.”

McMasters added that Newton’s plans to return to disinfect a few more fire department vehicles.

“They are going to come back and do the two administrator’s vehicles and a fire truck that has been at the body shop,” he said.

Also on Tuesday, Newton’s disinfected the Oakwood Police Department’s SUVs and Oakwood Area Fire Protection District’s fire trucks.

Newton’s cleaning spree began late last week when Tilton’s police department and fire protection district’s vehicles and trucks were disinfected.

“We value our first responders and want to do our part to keep them safe,” Erich Hannah, co-owner of Newton’s, said. “We knew we had the products available to help do that, and it was important to us that we give back to our community, especially during a time like this.”

Newton’s has been in business for more than 40 years and specializes in a wide range of services, including carpet cleaning, duct cleaning, range hood cleaning, water/mold/fire mitigation and other home and commercial services.

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