Testing for the virus was a top priority, so he connected with a private laboratory to ensure that his firefighters, who were transporting coronavirus patients to hospitals, could be regularly tested.
And then he heard that Thermo Fisher Scientific, a Massachusetts company that makes laboratory equipment and materials, was beta testing an air sampler that could help him detect airborne coronavirus particles.
By December, he had installed one in a fire station hallway. The device, about the size of a toaster oven, sucked in ambient air and trapped airborne virus particles — if there were any to be found — in a specialized cartridge. Each afternoon, an employee would remove the cartridge and walk it to the UPS drop box across the street, sending it off for laboratory analysis.