Sunday, October 02, 2022

Springfield Coach Group has come up with an innovative method to ease the concerns of operators, chauffeurs, and passengers in regards to spreading viral and bacterial infections. The Springfield, Mo.-based builder has introduced a germ-killing ultraviolet (UV) light option into the air circulation system of their new vehicles. When installed into the “hub” of the HVAC unit, a band of broad-spectrum invisible UV light will kill bacteria and germs as the air blows through the vents.

Springfield Coach Group Broad-spectrum UV light installed in a vent

The idea was developed by the father-son team of Springfield CEO Gary Spaniak Jr. and Vice President of Marketing Gary “G3” Spaniak III.

“We got the idea from the air conditioning units I have at home,” says G3. “The UV lights we’re installing in vehicles work with the same parameters as a home unit.”

The broad-spectrum UV lighting is commonly used to disinfect water, sterilize surfaces, destroy micro-organisms in food products, and kill airborne bacteria, viruses, mold, and fungi. This tech is similar to the UV wands that many operators are using today.

Springfield Coach Group L to R: Gary Spaniak III, CEO Gary Spaniak Jr., Congressman Billy Long (R-Mo.), and Dustin Campbell

The Spaniaks first introduced the UV lighting into Springfield’s removal vehicles built for coroners and the funeral industry. As bodies often still transmit germs and bacteria, this technology added a layer of safety for the drivers and medical personnel.

Since the brand-new COVID-19 is still being studied and tested, Springfield makes no claim that their UV light option will kill the virus, although G3 says that having this in a limousine only increases the duty of care that sets the chauffeured ground transportation industry apart. Springfield is offering UV light installation free of charge in new limousine builds.

On Thursday, May 21, Springfield Coach welcomed Congressman Billy Long (R-Mo.) for a tour of their facility, and to give him an up-close look at their new Mercedes “medical-grade first-call” vehicle for medical examiners and forensic specialists to transport bodies. The first-ever 100 percent purpose-built vehicle of its kind, Springfield lined the interior with stainless steel to make cleaning and sanitation easier than ever. The vehicle also utilizes the UV technology.

Springfield Coach Group The interior of Springfield’s new “medical-grade first-call” vehicle

“There are hardworking people … that risk themselves to exposure, and they need [a vehicle] to keep them safe,” G3 said to KY3 News, who was on scene to cover Long’s visit. “Once the process is made where they’ve removed the deceased, they can wash it out within minutes, disinfect it, and limit exposure to themselves and their family.”

Long also used the opportunity to speak about the struggle faced by small and family-owned businesses in the Ozarks region. The Congressman pledged his support for the luxury ground transportation industry and is looking to increase efforts to assist operators who are struggling.

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Editor’s note: HVAC UV light systems should only be installed by professionals. While they have been shown to be effective in killing viruses, improper installation can cause harm to humans. UV wands should only be used on surfaces with the proper safeguards so that eyes and skin are protected.