Wisconsin asks FEMA for help obtaining protective equipment for emergency responders

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Gov. Tony Evers asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist the state in obtaining protective medical supplies that can be used by law enforcement officers and firefighters who are at risk of direct exposure to COVID-19 while performing their jobs.

According to a news release from Gov. Evers' office, the state is asking for 50,000 non-surgical masks, 10,000 face shields, 11,000 coveralls, 3,000 N95 face masks, and 35,000 pairs of protective gloves through its procurement process.

“We are asking FEMA to help us purchase valuable medical supplies that will be used to protect our first responders as they do the important work of keeping Wisconsin safe,” said Gov. Evers. “It is our hope that the federal government can identify a source for these supplies as quickly as possible.”

The request comes in addition to the state’s ongoing efforts to obtain personal protective equipment (PPE) from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). So far, the state has received about 52,000 N95 face masks, 130,000 surgical masks, 25,000 face shields, 20,000 surgical gowns, 100 coveralls, and 36,000 pairs of gloves from the SNS. Those materials are being distributed to direct healthcare providers in areas with known community spread. The governor is calling on federal officials to help identify additional resources.

“We recognize that this equipment is in high demand, and we thank our first responders for their patience as we work to identify additional sources of personal protective equipment,” said Dr. Darrell L. Williams, WEM administrator. “This initial request is intended to help meet the immediate needs of agencies across the state that continue to perform their daily duties, knowing they are at risk of being exposed to the virus.”

Read the letter from Evers to FEMA here: 

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