WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Trumbull County’s Emergency Operations Center has been open seven days a week since the middle of March, with employees putting in long hours to ensure the county has a plan for COVID-19 and frontline workers are protected.
A lot of work is happening behind the scenes. It’s been about a month since the EOC has been up and running, organizing and planning all aspects related to handling the coronavirus.
“I think, overall, we’re doing a good job with it,” Chief George Snyder said. “There’s still, obviously, things that we need to accomplish but right now, we’re doing well.”
“We got plans in place. Some of the plans that our operations group did have been sent down to the state of Ohio for the division of EMS to look at to roll it out to the rest of the state,” Chief David Rea said.
Each morning starts with a virtual briefing, making sure all county first responders, departments, hospitals and other agencies have the information they need.
“Our goal is to bring all the county entities together, as well as anybody that is a stakeholder for the betterment of the community,” Chief James Pantalone said.
At the warehouse, the EOC is also responsible for sorting supplies for delivery so law enforcement, fire deparments, EMS and health care workers have the personal protective equipment they need.
“This is our fourth week of sending supplies out, and what we do is we track whatever one has already gotten and then we go through and decide what we can fill on their requests because we’ve got more requests for things than what we have,” said Kevin Kuriatnyk, warehouse supervisor.
For the first time this week, the EOC will be sending their first shipment of used N95 masks to Battelle for decontamination.
Chief Dennis Lewis said there is a drop-off site where frontline workers in the county can leave contaminated masks. The masks need to be double-bagged — with both bags sanitized — and the bag needs to be labeled.
Two Valley companies have donated much-needed supplies to the EOC.
Lewis said Candella Micro-distillery in Boardman donated 800 bottles of hand sanitizer Friday.
The day before, the center received 1,340 face shields valued at $3 apiece from Dinesol Plastics, Inc.
“That is more protection than eyeglasses that we were issuing,” Lewis said. “This gives us a little bit more protection for our health care providers and our EMS personnel.”