Grove City give away critical for those on the front lines


Organizers say they're happy to help keep first responders safe from COVID-19

GROVE CITY, Pa. (WKBN) – A personal protective equipment distribution in Grove City helped over 40 EMS agencies Tuesday.

Organizers say they’re happy to help keep first responders safe from COVID-19.

Face masks, face shields and gowns were given out, all to help protect first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Allegheny Health Network and Highmark Health partnered for the PPE distribution. About 40 agencies near Grove City were able to get new gear.

“EMS is, traditionally, on the front lines, and a lot of the distribution points have kind of dried up due to the pandemic,” said Robert Twaddle, vice president of pre-hospital care services at Allegheny Health Network.

EMTs say the distribution is a blessing after a lot of PPE expenses the past year.

“We’re a very small ambulance service, a rural, small town in Pennsylvania. We typically average about 3 to 400 calls a year, so every donation counts,” said Mike Slagle, an EMT with Brady Ambulance.

But it’s also a help for larger agencies. Clarion Hospital has about 50 EMTs. Don Hosey, director of emergency medical services, says the organizers put a lot of passion into helping other EMS agencies and their teams.

“I’ll put me last and protect my other crew so it’s great. It’s a great relief to have. I’m thankful for Highmark for doing it and the group for being here,” Hosey said.

Organizers hope the distribution will help keep first responders throughout Western Pennsylvania safe.

“This is an extra reminder to our EMS providers, even though it’s getting warmer out and vaccinations are becoming more prevalent, we still have to take that extra step of caution because we want to make sure we protect ourselves, our patients and our families.” Twaddle said.

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