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Frontenac paramedics receive overwhelming number of of PPE donations from Kingston community

Frontenac Paramedics

St. Lawrence College and members of the community have donated personal protective equipment (PPE) in order to safeguard front-line workers against COVID-19.

When the Scowcroft -Vendetti family saw a tweet from Frontenac paramedics last week, asking for donations of personal protective equipment, they knew they had to act.

They had supplies on hand at their now-closed dental clinic, which they were happy to see put to good use.

“This was our way of saying thank you and we just want to get back to normal.”

READ MORE: Kingston woman raises donations to provide personal protective equipment to nurses

In this time of crisis, Chief Frontenac Paramedic Gael Chevalier says donations are going a long way toward ensuring their members stay safe.

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“There has been a global shortage of important PPE supplies and N95 masks, so being able to receive these from the public is decreasing the anxiety among paramedics that may not have the equipment that they need.”

But it’s not just donations from individuals that are coming in.

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Frontenac paramedics have also received multiple boxes filled with items including masks, gloves, paper towels and hand sanitizer from St. Lawrence College — all of which are essential items for paramedics who are at high risk for contracting the COVID-19 virus while on the job.

READ MORE: Mask shortage ‘like sending someone to a forest fire with a water pistol’: nurses union

Chevalier believes paramedics are just as at risk as hospital workers.

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“We go out into completely uncontrolled environments, into people’s homes…in conditions we don’t have control over, so paramedics are at the very front line,” Chevalier said.

“It’s important for the college to be part of the local response to this evolving public health crisis. We will do whatever we can to help our front line health care workers stay safe,” said Glenn Vollebregt, president and CEO of St. Lawrence College.

“Many of our graduates and families are part of the front line helping us all in the fight against COVID-19. This includes paramedics, nurses, personal support workers, firefighters and more.”

According to Vollebregt, the college has also donated three ventilators to local hospitals, including Cornwall Community Hospital and the Kingston Health Sciences Centre, in addition to loaning 3D printers that are able to produce masks in Kingston.

Vollebregt says this an initiative that is being run by Queen’s University and local health organizations.

Frontenac paramedics say that if people are interested in donating personal protective equipment to them, they can do so by emailing supplies@frontenaccounty.ca