SOMERSET COUNTY, NJ – The Somerset County Office of Emergency Management has distributed over 1 million articles of personal protective equipment (PPE) to long-term care facilities (81%), municipal OEMs (14%) and first responders, according to Somerset County Freeholder Brian G. Gallagher, public health and safety liaison.
The bulk of critically needed supplies was provided by the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management. Personal and private donations from residents, businesses and community organizations also were distributed, including face masks, hand sanitizer and gloves.
PPE donations have been collected from the public at the South County Maintenance facility off Roycefield Road the past few months.
“It was difficult to get PPE initially, so we purchased what we could. But what really made a difference for our first responders was the amount of PPE supplies members of our community donated. We are incredibly grateful for their generosity,” said Freeholder Director Shanel Y. Robinson.
“This has been an outstanding collaborative initiative,” Gallagher said. “Several of the support functions of our Emergency Operations Center, including those provided by our Emergency Management and Facilities and Services Divisions, have done a tremendous job of communicating with the state OEM, managing and breaking down supplies, and delivering critical PPE to locations where they were most needed.”
New Jersey recently launched the PPE Supplier Registry to connect suppliers of personal protective equipment (PPE) that can prevent the spread of COVID-19 with potential buyers. Wholesale vendors with PPE inventory such as surgical or other protective masks, hospital gowns, hand sanitizer, or COVID-19 test kits can submit details on supplies they have available and hospitals, medical organizations, and private businesses can purchase.
The registry is a joint effort by the Office of Governor Murphy, the New Jersey Department of the Treasury, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), the Office of Innovation, and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (NJEDA) Office of Economic Transformation.
To date, more than 1,000 businesses have registered on the database, providing more than 2,500 products. The database is updated several times per week, and is easily filtered and sorted by product type, size, payment terms, location of supplier, and several other criteria. Suppliers who wish to be included in the Registry should fill out the PPE Supplier Registry intake form.
“The lack of speedy and reliable access to PPE has been one of the most persistent challenges we have faced in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police and Director of the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management. “Establishing a centralized clearinghouse where organizations and businesses that need PPE can connect directly with suppliers is critical to speeding up our efforts to get protective equipment to workers who need it most.”