California company cleans fire trucks for free to thank first responders

Protecting first responders is the mission of a Millbrae-based company owned by its employees.

DF6S Green is using its expertise in sanitation to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

On Tuesday afternoon, the crew gave a fire station in Menlo Park a deep cleaning free of charge.

Firefighters are receiving an added layer of protection. 

DFS Green has been donating its cleaning services to the Menlo Park Fire Protection District twice a week since the shelter in place order went into effect.

The cleaning company said it wanted to give back to first responders.

"They run into dangerous places and don't expect to be patted on the back. So for us, it's a good feeling to know that we're helping those individuals," said Wayne Whitzell, program director with DFS Green.

Whitzell and his team cleaned by spraying, wiping and fogging; work they do protecting corporate clients such as large tech companies.

They said the COVID-19 crisis has given them a new mission: cleaning fire and police stations and their response vehicles. 

"You get all the nooks and crannies where covid or any other contaminant, viral agents could be lingering," said Whitzell. 

Firefighters with the pandemic medical response unit, created for covid-19, said  the cleaning services are much appreciated.

They respond to calls where folks needing help have shown symptoms of infection.

"It gives peace of mind, but I think it also makes us more aware of the dangers of what this actually is. It reminds us constantly that we need to take as much precaution as we can," said Fire Capt. Tim Bogner, who is part of the pandemic medical response unit. .

Taking precautions that include wearing protective gear when responding to  medical incidents that they describe as  positive symptom calls.

Fire Chief Harold Schaupelhouman said the fire department wanted to pay for DFS Green's services but the company was adamant about not taking payment.

"It's been a real benefit to the firefighters. But equally, it's a benefit to the community because there are people who worry about us coming out to their homes," said Chief Schapelhouman,"It's really a two way street: protecting the community and protecting the firefighters in the place where they live."

The cleaning company said  this pandemic has created a need to protect those who protect us.

"Disinfecting these facilities multiple times a week and keeping these guys healthy is our number one priority," said Whitzell.

DFS Green is donating its cleaning services to 11 fire houses and 2 police stations. 

Its team members hope that by doing so, they'll inspire other companies to do whatever they can to help first responders.

Amber Lee is a reporter forKTVU.  Email Amber at and follow her on Twitter@AmberKTVU