DRBA donates 4,000 N95 Respirator Masks, other supplies in Delaware, New Jersey

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DRBA Maintenance Manager Chris Donegan (left) presents N95 Respirator Masks to Gloucester County Freeholders Jim Jefferson and Daniel Christy – Delaware River and Bay Authority

The Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) announced today that the bi-state agency has donated 4,000 N95 respirator masks and 2,000 pair of nitrile disposable gloves in an effort to help the medical community and first-responders meet its increased need for protective equipment amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Delaware and New Jersey.

The Delaware Healthcare Association, which plans to distribute the masks and nitrile gloves to hospitals in all three of Delaware’s counties, received 2,000 N95 respirator masks and 1,000 pair of nitrile disposable gloves while 500 masks and 250 pair of nitrile gloves were provided to each of the following in New Jersey: Salem Medical Center; Cape Regional Medical Center Cumberland County Fire/EMS; and Gloucester County Fire/EMS.

“We recognize the dire need for N95 respirator masks in our region and we’re thankful to be in a position to share what we have,” said DRBA Executive Director Thomas J. Cook. “Medical professionals and first responders are on the front lines in this battle to contain the outbreak and we want to do what we can to support their lifesaving mission.”

“We commend the Delaware River and Bay Authority for helping Delawareans with their donation of N95 masks to Delaware hospitals for the protection of front line health care workers fighting COVID-19,” said Wayne Smith, President and CEO of the Delaware Healthcare Association. “I want to thank Tom Cook and the rest of the DRBA team for stepping forward with this donation that will be very helpful in protecting our health care workers.  While the shortage in personal protective equipment is a national challenge that will be met, this donation – along with the others we are receiving – is an important bridge until supply catches up with demand.” 

“I would like to thank the Delaware River and Bay Authority for helping our health care workers here at Salem Medical Center by donating 500 N95 masks and 250 pair of gloves,” added Dr. Tammy Torres, Chief Executive Officer of Salem Medical Center. “These are critically needed resources in short supply. In times like these, it is good to have partners like the DRBA step up to help make a difference for our community.”

“We are very grateful to ALL of our community partners that are supporting the needs of our community hospital during this difficult time,” remarked Thomas J. Piratzky, Executive Director of the Cape Regional Medical Foundation.  “We’d like to express a special thank you to the DRBA organization for their generous donation of N95 masks.”   

Gloucester County Public Safety Director William J. Perna, Sr. and Cumberland County Public Safety Director Gabriel Scarpa also received an allotment of 500 N95 masks and 250 pair of nitrile gloves for their respective county’s first responders.

“We are grateful to the DRBA for their donation of the N95 Masks and Gloves, and supporting our efforts to protect those first responders risking their personal health and safety to take care of the citizens in Cumberland County,” Scarpa noted.  “We thank the DRBA for their urgently needed support for our first responders,” said Cumberland County Freeholder Director Joseph Derella.

“Our local doctors, nurses and emergency responders cannot be thrown into this crisis poorly equipped. It’s so important that we support the men and women who are battling COVID-19,” remarked Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger. “The Delaware River and Bay Authority’s donation to Gloucester County Office of Emergency Management will help our facilities continue to operate and continue to give the amazing care they do to each of their patients.”

The DRBA has equipped employees in the various maintenance and toll functions with these masks and gloves in the past.  In addition, the bi-state agency increased its stockpile of personal protective equipment (PPE) for flu pandemic preparedness following the N1H1 Swine Flu outbreak, which makes this donation possible.