HUNTERDON COUNTY, NJ – The Hunterdon County Board of County Commissioners Board recently approved providing state of the art air purifying respirator units, which offer high level respiratory protection, to each of the county’s thirteen volunteer rescue squads, according to Hunterdon County Board of County Commissioners Director Susan J. Soloway.
“Providing two state of the art 3M Power Air-Purifying Respirator Kits to each of the County’s thirteen Rescue Squads is part of the Board’s continuing effort to support those who have put themselves on the line for all of us, not only throughout the pandemic, but also through the years. I am advised these respiratory protection systems give maximum protection to users and are of significant value for responding to unknown air quality situations,” Soloway said.
“The equipment carries a cost that normally exceeds the fiscal capabilities of local volunteer units, which have also been severely affected by the economic impacts of the pandemic. Our First Responders have put themselves on the line for all of us throughout the pandemic. Where the County can provide these brave individuals with the equipment and protections they need, we are going to do so,” Soloway said.
Commissioner John E. Lanza, the Board’s Public Safety liaison said, “The County’s OEM has worked tirelessly to provide the necessary PPE to those on the front lines of the pandemic, including rescue squads, fire companies, our municipalities, and many other entities. These air respirators will enhance protections for those emergency medical services personnel who are often confronted by the unknown in the field.”
Hunterdon County’s Acting Public Safety Director and Emergency Management Coordinator Brayden Fahey said, “Experiences over the last several years have prompted our EMS agencies to implement enhancements for both responder and patient safety. Incidents like the 2014 Ebola outbreak and COVID-19 pandemic pose communicable disease and illness risks that required agency leaders to identify additional personal protective equipment. These PAPRs will offer tremendous protection in the prehospital environment.”
The equipment is expected to be distributed by the end of the week.