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ST. LOUIS – Approximately 15,000 protective masks arrived Monday at the St. Louis Fire Department Headquarters. They’ll be distributed to first responders throughout the state.

St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson says these masks are a big shot in the arm for local first responders.

“People are trying to help any way they can to get this thing calmed down and try to flatten the curve,” he said.

The masks came courtesy of former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens. And though he helped to deliver the masks, he wasn’t interested in speaking.

“Former Governor Greitens called and said, ‘What can I do to help?’ He ran the Mission Continues before he was governor,” Jenkerson said. “He got some donors together…We purchased masks and got them shipped here quickly.”

About 5,000 masks will go to the St. Louis Fire Department; 2,500 to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department; 2,500 to the St. Louis County Police Department; and 5,000 masks to agencies in Kansas City, southeast Missouri, and northwest Missouri.

“We’re going through 250-350 a day right now on calls between firemen and the EMS side,” Jenkerson said. “What’s even more important is the police departments.”

First responders are getting more calls because people aren’t taking any chances with their health.

“It’s getting to a point where people are showing more anxiety and more concern. Calling if they have sniffles, cough; they call us right away,” Jenkerson said. “People in the city don’t have general practitioners. We’re it.”