Two Weatherford businesses recently donated a total of 60 N95 masks to the Parker County Hospital District, which will be distributed to first responders.
The N95 face masks are used to protect the wearer from airborne particles and from liquid contaminating the face and will be a big help during the COVID-19 situation, Parker County Hospital District Education and Training Coordinator Chris Briggs said.
“That’s a big donation for us right now because everybody ordered them at the same time. We went from a very minimal need in EMS and the medical world to being overwhelmed and so every hospital, EMS organization, fire department, everybody tried to order them at the same time and they don’t exist,” Briggs said. “Then you have people running to Lowe’s and buying them up, so they’re really hard to come by, and getting 60 masks from those two businesses was a big thing for us.”
Roger Williams Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership in Weatherford donated 45 N95 masks.
“They reached out to us and we immediately said, yes, we wanted to help, so we got with our collision center and service department and we immediately gathered the masks that we had and called them, and they came right over. We were eager to help,” Roger Williams General Manager JJ Williams said. “It feels great, especially in these times, anything you can do to help in this situation. We’re fortunate to be able to have had the masks to give them and it’s an unknown world we’re entering right now, but anything we can do to help the fire department, police department, first responders, we’re going to step up and do it here at the dealership.”
Weatherford Collision Center Owner Hamid Bateni donated 15 of the N95 masks.
“Of course this is a paint and body shop and we do use masks for safety and I had some left over and so they came and picked them up,” Bateni said. “These guys are the front runners so I’m sure they can use them a lot more than I could because we’re isolated in the building and not getting around anywhere, but they are, so it feels good to help them out. I’m just glad we could be of help.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been collaborating with manufacturers of personal protective equipment to help facilitate mitigation strategies related to the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the FDA’s website.
“The FDA is aware that as the COVID-19 outbreak continues to expand globally, the supply chain for these devices will continue to be stressed if demand exceeds available supplies,” according to the FDA. “To help alleviate supply pressures, the FDA may consider expedited review of manufacturing site changes or premarket submissions — manufacturers of PPE (particularly surgical masks and surgical or isolation gowns) may contact FDA regarding plans to increase availability of these products to the U.S. market.”
Last week, Parker County Emergency Management Coordinator Sean Hughes said they have made a request for personal protective equipment from the Strategic National Stockpile, which has released a portion of what they hold — goggles, masks, gowns.
Briggs said the masks will be very beneficial to keeping first responders safe during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“The N95 masks are what basically keep us safe from all the particles in the air with what’s happening right now,” Briggs said. “The masks are going to be distributed to the fire departments and throughout the EMS organizations.”
Briggs said anyone wishing to donate masks, or any other personal protective equipment, can contact him at 817-599-1197 or firstname.lastname@example.org.