FEMA utilizing Franklin, Mass warehouse to stockpile and deliver PPE for New England
FRANKLIN, M.A. (WLNE) — As New England continues to struggle with the coronavirus, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is storing and distributing thousands of pieces of equipment daily from it’s temporary warehouse in Southeastern Massachusetts.
FEMA has occupied an 86,000 sq ft. warehouse in Franklin, M.A. since April. They have stockpiled, sorted, and distributed more than 500 truck loads of PPE and other equipment across the region.
“We’ve delivered over 20 million pieces of PPE to healthcare workers, first responders, school children,” said Capt. Russ Webster, FEMA’s Regional Manager for it’s New England response.
Just last week, the facility was able to secure and deliver 90,000 n-95 masks for Rhode Island’s State Association of Fire Fighters.
FEMA says n-95 masks continue to be one of the most requested items, but toughest to supply.
“The challenge comes because the gowns that people also need — they’re made out of the same material,” said Webster. “What we’ve seen is when there is an uptick in production of n-95 masks, there’s scarcity in the gowns, almost like a sea-saw.”
In addition to providing PPE for the region, FEMA has continued to help monetarily, giving more than $240 million to Rhode Island through lost wages programs.
The agency also pays the salaries of roughly 75% of National Guard soldiers responding to the pandemic in the Ocean State.
FEMA has no timeline on their stay in Franklin, saying they will be here to help “before, during, and after” the region recovers from Covid-19.