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A midnight run to Miami is helping protect health care workers at Regional Medical Center (RMC) in Anniston.
Thanks to the support of multiple community partners, RMC has obtained 20 Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPRs) that will be used by professional staff treating patients at the hospital who are suffering from COVID-19.
PAPRs are worn over the head, typically with a clear screen in front, to protect health care workers from potential exposure to airborne pathogens. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, PAPRs are in short supply, just when they are needed most.
RMC officials were able to secure a supply of PAPRs – in Miami – with help from the Oxford Police Department. Indeed, not only did the police help find the vital equipment, they also agreed to make an overnight dash to South Florida to retrieve them.
The officers arrived back in Anniston Tuesday morning and delivered the critical equipment to the grateful team at the hospital, which continues to see a surge in COVID patients.
“Nearly a year into this pandemic, we are grateful for the continued support that has kept our physicians and staff going,” said Lagina Fillingim, RMC Foundation director. “Thank you to everyone who made this donation possible.”
Oxford Police Chief Bill Partridge said the department was happy to assist.
“If we help them, it’s going to help us,” Partridge said. “They’re first responders like we are. They’re on the front lines every day.”
He said Oxford Mayor Alton Craft reached out to the department to see if they could help the hospital locate the PAPRs. “I told him we’d certainly try,” Partridge said.
“We went ahead and made an emergency purchase because they’re in high demand. Two officers drove down to pick them up,” he said.
He said the PAPRs will not only help the hospital workers, they indirectly help the police department and the entire community.
“When an officer is hurt or injured in the line of duty, we need the doctors and nurses to take care of them, and they can’t do that if they’re sick with COVID,” Partridge said.
The PAPRs were purchased with support from the Alabama Power Foundation and other community partners, including Noble Bank, the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce, Calhoun County Economic Development Council and the Community Foundation of Northeast Alabama.
The RMC Foundation continues to seek donors to support a variety of programs at its affiliated facilities, including the purchase of needed equipment and supplies. To learn more or to donate, visit https://rmccares.org/donate-now/.
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