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United Way fund helps Randolph EMS buy PPE system

Submitted photo Kurt Gainer, Randolph County EMS director, displays a check for $1,250 from the United Way of Randolph County’s Relief and Recovery Fund.

ELKINS — The United Way of Randolph County is helping Randolph County EMS obtain personal protective equipment through the charitable organization’s Relief and Recovery Fund.

“The United Way of Randolph County received $4,000 for the Relief and Recovery Fund from Huntington National Bank,” Karrah Washington, executive director of the organization, said. “We allotted $1,250 to the EMS for a PAPR system.”

PAPR systems are power air units that force air into a full hood and face mask for first responders, providing protection for both responders and patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Each system does cost $1,659.00,” Washington said. “However, our $1,250 can be put from with funds from another provider and make it possible to purchase one to get started with an upgrade for our community!”

The request for funding submitted by Randolph County EMS states, “We are fortunate enough at present time to have enough protective personal equipment, such as masks, gowns, gloves, disinfectant, etc. We would love to be able to obtain a higher quality PPE, since we have been having to transport patients to other hospitals, such as Ruby.

“Some patients are awaiting results or will be tested when they arrive at the other hospitals. When we do this type of transport, we have to wear gowns, face masks, head coverings, gloves, etc., and it gets hot. There are times you feel as if you are smothering.

“We would love to obtain a PPE called, PAPR (power, air-purifying respirator) system,” the request reads. “If we could obtain two units, one for the patient provider and driver, this would eliminate the smothering feeling.

“They are power forced air units into a full hood, so there is nothing touching your face and produces cool air. The machine that attachs to the hood, purifies the air, which makes it safe for the provider. This also would be great to use for other air transmitted diseases, TB, FLU, etc.

“Each PAPR system costs $1,659.99. They are currently out of stock, but we can get in line to get the next systems when they become available,” the request states.

Other recipients of the United Way of Randolph County’s Relief and Recovery Funds program funding included WV 2-1-1, the Valley Head Public Library, Randolph-Tucker Children’s Advocacy Center, and Meals on Wheels.

“We are extremely grateful for the support from Huntington National Bank,” Washington said. “We are still accepting donations to our Relief & Recovery Fund. We continue to stay up-to-date with the most needed items for our community by reaching out to those providing direct services during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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