WOOD RIVER, Ill. – A group of Metro East first responders in the COVID-19 pandemic are putting out a call to the public in seeking PPE donations.
“The N95 masks and gloves, hospital gowns, face shields, or goggles,” says Tony Falconio, Madison County’s director of emergency management. “Your hand sanitizer, your disinfectant wipes, and the homemade masks we’re seeing across the country. We can accept those but we have to be careful. There is guidance from CDC on how to make those masks, so I encourage you to look that up before you just start sewing up a mask.”
At a Wood River warehouse, they’re stocked and supplied with emergency response trailers.
The federally-funded post-9/11 move means counties in the St. Louis metropolitan region are all trained and staffed for a disaster. The St. Louis area region response system (STARRS) distributes equipment to eight counties in the bi-state region, including the city of St. Louis.
But the need for PPE gear is a global issue.
“Yes, we are in a global crisis right now, but it’s amazing to see the work of your fellow mankind that anybody can help in a disaster no matter disaster it is, there’s a purpose for everyone,” Falconio says.
Like the boxes of n95 masks that were donated from an auto body shop or the 18 volunteers that keep this emergency warehouse ready for times like these.
“It is an all hazards approach,” says Falconio. “We rely a lot on our volunteers, we rely a lot on our private industry, and that’s why we’re here today seeking those donations.”
They are accepting PPE donations here in Madison County, Illinois from 9 a.m. until noon for the remainder of the week.