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NIU donates PPE to DeKalb Fire Department

DeKALB – The Northern Illinois University College of Health and Human Sciences has donated several dozen boxes of personal protective equipment (PPE) to the DeKalb Fire Department to aid them during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a news release from NIU, the college donated over 100 exam gloves in all sizes, more than 50 isolation gowns, three boxes of safety goggles, adult and pediatric surgical masks and N95 masks.

“This will literally save citizens and us from being exposed,” said Bart Gilmore, deputy chief, in the news release. “We are that much more prepared for when the wave hits us.”

The DeKalb Fire Department has initiated extra response protocols in order to maintain health and safety of first responders and mitigate spread of the viral respiratory disease. In responding to 911 calls at a home with potential COVID-19 patients, first responders are having to utilize gowns and PPE equipment much more quickly than usual.

“We are facing an increase burn rate on PPEs so we are stocking up as much as we can. We don’t want to come up short, as these products are back-ordered for months,” Gilmore said.

Sherrill Morris, chair of NIU’s School of Allied Health and Communicative Disorders, coordinated the donation effort which included materials from NIU’s Child Development and Family Center, the medical laboratory sciences program, the School of Nursing, the NIU Physical Therapy Clinic and the Speech-Language Hearing Clinic.

Morris collected all the items from multiple locations across campus and said everyone followed social distancing precautions. She dropped off the items at Fire Station No. 1, 700 Pine St. in DeKalb Monday.

“It is essential that our first responders have personnel protective equipment, and I’m glad I could be involved in the transfer of these necessary supplies,” Morris said in the release.

If you believe you have items to donate to the DeKalb Fire Department, please contact Gilmore at 815-748-8466. Please note that the department cannot take cloth masks at this time.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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