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Agriculture Cleaning and Disinfecting Unit

Agricultural Component of Regional Response System Unveiled
June 20, 2007

Oklahoma City – Containing contagious animal diseases is more effective now that six Agriculture Cleaning and Disinfecting Units are available to respond across the state of Oklahoma. The Cleaning and Disinfecting Units are the most recent addition to the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security’s (OKOHS) multi-million dollar Regional Response System and were developed at the request of and guidance from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.

“The State Department of Agriculture identified a need,” said Kerry Pettingill, Oklahoma Homeland Security Director.

“The ability to contain an animal disease outbreak is critical to our state and nation. Secretary Peach knew what kind of equipment and resources were needed to effectively prevent the spread of contagious animal diseases. We worked together on this project from its inception and now local responders are better equipped to handle this type of disaster.”

The Cleaning and Disinfecting Units will be used to disinfect livestock transport vehicles and other equipment contaminated during a naturally occurring or manmade animal disaster. Oklahoma was the first to build this specific response unit dedicated exclusively to an agricultural emergency.

“I would like to thank Director Pettingill and his staff for working with us on this project,” said Oklahoma Secretary of Agriculture, Terry Peach. “Oklahoma was the first state to develop and train agricultural emergency response teams and now we have again achieved another first in protection preparedness with the addition of these Cleaning and Disinfecting Units.”

The units are located in the following communities:

Community Agency
City of Atoka Fire Service
Carter County Emergency Management
Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office
Tahlequah/Cherokee County Emergency Management
Texas County Emergency Management
Washington County Emergency Management

"The Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office is very appreciative of this state-of-the-art equipment from the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security,” said Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel. “This trailer will help stop the spread of any contagious disease affecting the food supply within Oklahoma County. This is just one of several joint efforts being made by the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security and the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office to keep the citizens of Oklahoma County safe."

Each of the Cleaning and Disinfecting Units costs $80,000, which includes the pressure washing system, disinfectant/chemicals, generator and other necessary equipment, in addition to the trailer that hauls all the equipment. All six were built and assembled in Oklahoma and will be operated by local teams of trained responders.

The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry will also receive a Mobile Laboratory thanks to a $500,000 OKOHS grant. The Mobile Lab will be deployed into the field for onsite testing of samples by technicians during an animal disease outbreak and/or other emergency. The Lab is in the process of being built and will be delivered this fall.

The OKOHS Regional Response System includes more than 60 units strategically located across the state at a cost of more than $21 million. All of the units are standardized and interoperable.