As the sun went down on Tuesday, March 3, San Diego firefighters suited up in protective gear to help the citizens of Duval and Jim Wells Counties.

This time their protective gear was different and they weren’t fighting a fire. The volunteer firefighters went out to local business like Lowe’s Market, Dollar General and Family Dollar, and worked to disinfect shopping carts and cart areas in hopes to flatten the curve.

"The idea came from our neighboring stations; the Three Rivers and George West Fire Department. We thought it was a good idea and a good way to help the community," said San Diego Fire Chief Juan Soliz. "We will be cleaning the carts and hand baskets and will being doing so every night as long as we have the cleaning solution and the virus is eradicated."

The solution the firefighters are using is 1/3 bleach to every gallon of water. This solution sanitizes and disinfects.

"We are rinsing the carts and hand baskets first with the fire trucks, we stray them with the solution and then let them air dry," Soliz said. "The importance of doing this is to stop or minimize the spread of the virus. When you think about how many people are using the carts, it’s a lot of people. Some of those people are from out of town also looking for essential, and we just don’t know where people go."

Soliz said that the carts and hand baskets are one of the biggest way to transfer the virus from person to person.

Firefighters are also washing drive ways, handles on ice machines and door handles.

"We let them sit over night when no one is around," Soliz said. "It’s a small step to help contain the virus. Its the least we can do to help to limit the spread in our community."