Fast and efficient help: mobile decontamination responders for South Korea

Rapid and efficient aid – this is the top priority of fire departments and rescue services in the event of a catastrophe. And exceptional cases require extraordinary vehicles. Three such vehicles were recently delivered to South Korea. They serve one primary purpose: the decontamination of people, vehicles, and large areas.


They are mobile, ready for operation in no time, and require little manpower: the rolling "Decon Unit," delivered by Rosenbauer to the National 119 Rescue Headquarters in South Korea. Thanks to the most modern technology and sophisticated processes, these vehicles are not only useful for smaller incidents, but can also render important services in large-scale emergencies. Extensively equipped, the decon unit quickly and effectively cleans people, objects, and even large vehicles and surfaces - from rough and fine decontamination to aftertreatment.


The mobile decon unit consists of a three-axle truck and a two-axle trailer. The vehicle is not only equipped with the decontamination unit, but also an extinguishing system that the crew can fall back on if needed. It includes the normal pressure pump N25 , the direct injection proportioning system DIGIMATIC as well as the compressed air foam system CONTI CAFS . The proportioning ratio of the DIGIMATIC can be varied continuously as needed between zero and six percent. With a minimum proportioning quantity of 0.1 l/min, it is excellent for wetting agent applications. The compressed air foam generated by the CONTI CAFS has a high energy content and thus even adheres to vertical surfaces. Its large throw range is an additional advantage. The decontamination vehicles are also equipped with a 3,000 liter water tank and two foam tanks (200 or 100 liters).


Decon unit in the rear of the vehicle

The waterworks with cleaning agent proportioning are housed in the accessible rear. Pump, pressure-sustaining device, water heating, chemical proportioning, and disinfection equipment are all stored there in addition to special high-pressure units. These items are used depending on the application and type of contamination. Cold water for pre- and post-decontamination of vehicles and objects can be output at up to 4,000 l/h at 60 bar. The hot water steam unit has an output of 1,200 l/h at 140 bar (or steam at 30 bar) for cleaning. The cleaning agent is proportioned automatically and the mixture is discharged through 40-meter long hoses and special cleaning lances.


The decontamination of people takes place directly at the rear of the vehicle. The rough decontamination takes place first on a modified tail lift using a special shower equipped with nozzles and a cleaning unit for shoe soles. The vehicle is also equipped with a four part wet area for fine contamination. The person enters and undresses, proceeds to the shower, and then dresses again. The wet rooms are all ventilated via the roof and heated by an independently powered heater; waste water is collected in a designated tank. The entrance and exit area can be covered with an electrically retractable awning.


These state-of-the-art decontamination vehicles are not only able to decontaminate persons and objects of hazardous substances, but also entire areas. In pump & roll mode, the built-in pump supplies the spray bar in the bumper area with the corresponding water/cleaning agent mixture. The driver is able to control all important functions, such as the proportioning of the cleaning agent from the driver's cab, thus allowing the driver to remain in the cab. To protect the crew, the driver's cab is also equipped with an overpressure filter system that prevents the ingress of contaminated ambient air. The vehicle is equipped with a self-cleaning system for cleaning the vehicle itself.


Complete cleaning line for large-scale operations

The equipment for large-scale emergencies is stored in the trailers. This allows for a complete cleaning line to be set up quickly in the event of mass contamination; a three-line shower tent for decontaminating people and a completely mobile decon strip for vehicles are available, among other items, in practical roll-on/roll-off containers. Our colleagues at the National 119 Rescue Headquarters in South Korea are extremely satisfied with the high-tech vehicles they received. They not only fulfill the needs of the rescue service, but also exceed expectations with regard to ease of operation and the performance spectrum. Requiring just a few persons to operate, the vehicles provide rapid and efficient aid in the event of major emergencies.