Decontamination tents help Metro Detroit firefighters keep coronavirus (COVID-19) out of their homes

Southfield firefighters say tents give them peace of mind

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – For first responders, one of the greatest fears during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis is bringing the virus home to their families.

A Metro Detroit company is building decontamination units to place in the middle of fire stations to ease those concerns.

Patrick and Zoe Kintz, from Great Lakes Remediation first offered to build decontamination tents for a friend -- Southfield firefighter Jamie Rakestraw and his wife, Andrea. The Rakestraws were afraid of COVID-19 getting into their home from the front lines.

After that, the tents started popping up at more fire stations. They have a simple design -- a wooden frame, plastic sheeting, completely sealed doors and chemicals to kill the virus from the gear and clothes before firefighters head home.

“The last thing we want to do is bring it home to someone we love,” Rakestraw said.

Southfield Fire Chief Johnny Manifee said the peace of mind is important, as is keeping all his firefighters safe from the coronavirus.

“It’s huge,” Manifee said. “I can’t thank Great Lakes Remediation enough.”

Patrick and Zoe Kintz said they’ll run out of supplies soon, but if they can get donations, they’ll continue building more tents.

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