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Multnomah County asking for donations of protective equipment for first responders

The donations they have received already has helped lift a bid burden for those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Multnomah County first responders asked the community to help its members out on the front line helping other during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

It asked for donations of personal protective equipment and it received overwhelming support.

"First of all, I want to say thank you," said Jeff Galvan, Senior Fire Inspector with Portland Fire and Rescue. "It 's basically another level of safety for us."

But it is not just the public donating unused PPE items, volunteers with Medical Teams International have been helping as well.

"We've been able to donate a huge amount of protective equipment to a wonderful partner, Providence, for use in their hospitals in Washington, Oregon and California," said Martha Newsome, president and CEO of Medical Teams International.

The nonprofit just so happened to get a donation of protective gear as the global pandemic was starting to ramp up.

This week workers packed up more than 2,500 gowns, 28,000 masks, 20,000 exam gloves, and 6,400 safety glasses.

"That equipment is so critical to keep their health professionals safe," said Newsome.  "As they treat people with COVID-19.

Medical Teams International is also preparing its fleet of 12 mobile dental vans to be deployed across the region to help. They are being outfitted to help with the COVID-19 response.

The first one will start in Issaquah, Washington. It will be part of a driveby testing center.

There are ways the community can help as well. If you would like to donate wrapped and unused masks and other PPE items there are a number of drop off locations, including the Multnomah County Building at 501 SE Hawthorne in Portland.

Or you can donate to Medical Teams International

Check out Oregon's Emergency Management site for more information.