The Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown, Pa.
A regional health network’s ability to obtain personal protective equipment (PPE) throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has provided a windfall for area emergency response agencies.
On Thursday, 41 emergency medical service agencies loaded up on KN95 face masks, surgical masks, face shields and surgical gowns at a distribution in Conemaugh East Hills parking lot.
The event was a partnership between Conemaugh Health System and Allegheny Health Network/Highmark Health.
Robert Twaddle, vice president of prehospital care for Allegheny Health Network, said the supplies are being donated at no charge to the agencies.
“Highmark was able to obtain a good quantity of PPE throughout the onset of the pandemic last year,” Twaddle said. “As the distribution chain dried up, we began to maintain our stock and utilize it within our network.
“Now that the distribution chain has slowly reopened and it’s a little easier to get more PPE, this gave us the opportunity to disperse this to our EMS community.”
More than 55,600 KN95 face masks, 116,000 disposable surgical masks, 8,200 face shields and 36,500 surgical gowns were being distributed.
Storm Nagle, prehospital manager at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, said the emergency medical representatives were appreciative of the donation.
“Our local EMS partners have provided extraordinary support in managing the pandemic from the frontlines — from directly helping patients, to educating our community about mitigation strategies, to assisting with our mass vaccination programs,” Nagle said. “We are grateful for their partnership and thrilled to help facilitate this equipment distribution.”
Randy Griffith is a multimedia reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @PhotoGriffer57.
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