Emergency responders running out of protective equipment


UPDATE 3/21/20 AT 2:30 PM – After WHNT News 19’s Ethan Fitzgerald shared Moores Mill Volunteer Fire Department’s need for supplies, someone donated a few hundred n95 masks to the department.

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – Emergency responders are running low on protective equipment just like many hospitals across the country.

The Moores Mill Volunteer Fire Department held an emergency meeting Friday night to discuss their supply shortage and potentially canceling mutual aid agreements.

N95 masks are not easy to find and supplies are getting lower. It’s not a problem most emergency responders have ever faced. Firefighters sat down to determine if they should focus on their district over supporting other districts.

They considered three options.

“The options on the table were to stop running mutual aid calls to neighboring departments,” said Zachary Trulson with Moores Mill Fire & Rescue. “Or if we were going to slow down and only respond to calls in our district deemed as critical, or just business as usual.”

These are conversations we’ve never experienced. Moores Mill opted to not change anything, but the masks will run out soon.

“At the current rate that we are using them, we should be out in approximately 11-days,” said Trulson. “Once that happens, we will have to stop responding to flu-like symptom patients.”

According to Moores Mill, those general flu calls are up so if they can’t immediately help, patients have to wait for HEMSI.

“A lot of people in our area are low-income housing,” said Trulson. “When we have low-income hosing..they may not have vehicles or insurance. In that case, a lot of the time the only people they can turn to is us to help them.”

Moores Mill VFD is taking cleaning supply donations and if you have any kind of mask they will take them.

Their storm shelters will be open if needed. People who are sick will get a mask and will be isolated from everyone else.

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