YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – During shortages of personal protective equipment, first responders in Youngstown have had to limit the use of their masks.
“We were able to secure about 500 of the N95’s, but in an agency with nearly 200 people between our sworn and civilian staff, that’s not going to last us very long,” said Youngstown police chief Robin Lees.
Lees said their officers have been rotating between two N95 masks that they were given. To help the situation, the owner of many local McDonald’s restaurants donated masks to first responders on Wednesday.
“It’ll give us the ability for the officers to use more of the PPE when they feel necessary. They might not feel as restricted in the use of them, so any time they need it, they’ll be able to put them on,” Lees said.
Before this donation, they had just enough masks, but none to spare. Lees is still working on finding more masks, but he knows that this donation has bought them some time.
Youngstown fire chief Barry Finley was also there to accept masks for the fire department.
“The opportunity presented itself and I thought of the community in which I live and which I love and how I could help people here,” said local McDonald’s owner Herb Washington.
Mayor Tito Brown expressed gratitude toward locals who are giving back to first responders during this time.
“We’re all in this together and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. As the mayor, when I talk to other mayors from across Ohio, I’m glad to talk about our citizens and how much we have responded to. We are going to stay home and we are going to do our part,” Brown said.
Washington said that he may be able to get more masks in the future.