| Sarah Heinonen
EAST LONGMEADOW – “There is a national shortage of masks and our local first responders need them to protect themselves as they respond to individuals who may have COVID-19,” said East Longmeadow Town Manager Mary McNally in a press release.
East Longmeadow Fire Chief Paul Morrisette said, “We’re joining the club. There’s a super-huge shortage of masks.” The fire department has roughly 200 masks and is using them as a rate of 10 to 20 per day.
The town is asking for donations from doctor’s offices, dentists and manufacturers.
“If you are an establishment that uses masks as part of your regular operations and have a supply that you will not be using during this closure, please consider donating these masks to the East Longmeadow Fire Department,” McNally said in a statement.
The department is looking for N95 masks and surgical masks. Morrisette said that the surgical masks have to be made from specific fabrics to be effective. Most surgical masks are made from polypropylene.
“If it’s a standard surgical mask or an N95, we’ll put it in our stockpile,” Morrisette said. The department is also looking for donations of isolation gowns and polyethylene suits, better known under the brand name Tyvek.
Donations of masks can be made by calling the COVID-19 Hotline at 486-9000 and leaving a message.