Madison County EMA collecting PPE, recruiting volunteers, offering counseling

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The Madison County Emergency Management Agency is collecting donated personal protective equipment for distribution to area first responders.

(Posted April 7, 2020)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Madison County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) is working with Madison County Public Health to help medical and emergency responders and the general public.

The agency is serving as a collection point for donated personal protective equipment (PPEs), compiling a list of certified medical personnel willing to serve as volunteers, and helping to establish a call-in counseling service.

The EMA office is located at 271 Elm St., London. For more information about any of the following, call (740) 852-4200.

PPE collection

The EMA is collecting surgical masks, N95 masks, gowns, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and face shields.

“We’re distributing what we get to first responders in Madison County, but if we get a surplus and somebody outside the county needs supplies, we will share,” said Deb Sims, EMA director.

Donated items can be dropped off at the EMA office, which is staffed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Items also can be dropped off by appointment on weekends; call Sims at (740) 837-6547.

“Everything is greatly appreciated,” Sims said.

Several business owners have stepped forward with donations of goggles, gloves, and other pre-packaged PPEs.

“We’ve reached out to nail salons, dentist offices, and medical offices that can’t do elective surgeries right now to see if they have supplies to donate,” said Erin Fawley, director of community health and accreditation for Madison County Public Health.

Medical volunteers

Medical care facilities are stretched thin now when it comes to staffing. To help with a potential need for more manpower, the EMA and health department are compiling a list of certified medical professionals who are willing to be on call to help as volunteers if needed.

“We reached out to people who were part of the Madison County Medical Reserve Corps, which hasn’t been active for a while,” Sims said. “Six or eight people from that list said they can help, plus we’ve found new volunteers.”

The people stepping forward are lab technicians, retired nurses and the like.

“If needed, these people could help at swab stations, caring for people, and helping at facilities with less critical COVID cases,” Fawley said.

Any certified medical personnel who would like to be added to the on-call list can call the EMA office.

Counseling services

The EMA and health department are developing a call-in counseling service for anyone who needs someone to talk to about how they are feeling in relation to the pandemic.

Members of the Madison County Crisis Response Team and other professionals are volunteering to help with the service. Teachers, counselors and other professionals make up the volunteer group, which has helped with grief counseling at area schools and other situations.

“We will be using an app since we can’t do face-to-face meetings,” said Holly McCoy, EMA deputy director.

The service is in the works and should be up and running soon.

For more information, call the EMA office or call McCoy at (614) 674-1409.

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