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Virus created shortages for first responders, too

The onset of the coronavirus pandemic created well-publicized equipment needs not only for hospitals, but for first responders, as well.

Paramedic Chris Buchanan, Chairman of the Board of Mathews Volunteer Rescue Squad, said that the squad had a number of N95 and surgical masks on hand when the pandemic struck because they’re the standard of care for patients during flu season. But, like most EMS agencies, they didn’t have the quantity that would be needed in a pandemic situation. That’s when the county’s Emergency Services Coordinator Willie Love stepped in.

“We’ve worked closely with Willie,” said Buchanan. “He has done a wonderful job of staying on top of what we need.”

The agency began purchasing items from its normal vendors, from Amazon, from every place possible, including from the state, when state agencies began ramping up purchasing efforts and supplying items.

Individual squad members began buying their own supplies, as well, said Buchanan, including half mask r...

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