Wisconsin launches effort to get PPE for first responders

Doctor: 'Our masks are our only armor'

MADISON, Wis. (WKBT) — A new Wisconsin initiative is ramping up the effort to get more personal protective equipment, such as gowns, gloves and masks, to the front-line responders to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In announcing the initiative today, Gov. Tony Evers said, “As we face a global shortage of PPE and are competing with other states to acquire limited resources, I am calling on companies, schools and other organizations that may have unused protective equipment sitting in their facilities to make those materials available to those who need it most.”
Although the state welcomes donations, Evers said, “But we are also prepared to pay a fair market value for large quantities of this equipment that are offered.”
Wisconsinites now can go an online site to donate or sell large quantities of PPE to the state.
The State Emergency Operations Center will distribute the PPE to communities that need the items the most.
First responders and other non-medical organizations should communicate their PPE needs to their county or tribal emergency management offices for the SEOC to forward. Medical facilities, including hospitals, nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and clinics, should continue using the established process for requesting supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile.
The major needs include:

  • Surgical gowns (S, L, XL and XXL).
  • Face/surgical masks (adult and pediatric).
  • Gloves (nitrile, vinyl or butyl.
  • N-95 particulate respirators.
  • Isolation gowns.
  • Face shields.
  • Tyvek coveralls.
  • Thermometers.
  • Foot coverings.
    If organizations or businesses have fewer than 50 of any of these items, they are encouraged to donate them to local health organizations instead of going through the buyback website.
    The SEOC and Department of Health Services continue working to supply medical facilities with supplies requested from the SNS.
    The state has received about 104,680 N95 respirators, 260,840 face/surgical masks, 48,168 face shields, 40,512 surgical gowns, 192 coveralls, and 70,375 pairs of gloves from the SNS.
    The state also has requested assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to buy supplies for first responders.