Supply Emergency Responders With Personal Protective Equipment

On April 2, 2020, Senator Gary Peters sent a letter to the FEMA Administrator and the United States Attorney General William Barr to urge quick action to supply emergency responders on the frontlines with personal protective equipment (PPE), including all those serving within Michigan.

There is an increasing concern about the lack of consideration for Fire and Police, as stated by our representatives from Michigan Legislative Consultants. They are continuing to push for our Public Safety Officers. Please read the full press release and letter sent from the Senator’s office below with the list of question concerns.

Law Enforcement Personnel and Other First Responders Do Not Have the Supplies Necessary to Safely Perform Essential Duties in Their Communities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 1, 2020 | Media Contact: David McGonigal, (202) 794-0615, peterspress@hsgac.senate.gov

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, urged the Trump Administration to address the widespread shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) that are affecting both health care providers in Michigan and across the country, as well as law enforcement and first responders. The Detroit Police Department has been hit especially hard by Coronavirus, resulting in the quarantine of over 22 percent of the force. Peters called on the federal government to ensure that state and local governments can access all of the gloves, masks and other protective equipment they need for health care, law enforcement and first responders to do their jobs safely during the pandemic.

“At the core of this battle is our nation’s health care workforce, which is working tirelessly under dangerous conditions to aid thousands of Americans in their hour of need. In addition to our health care workers, I am also concerned about protections for our law enforcement personnel and first responders in this pandemic,” wrote Senator Peters. “These individuals are a critical component in the line of defense against the threat of Coronavirus as they rapidly respond to emergencies, help implement community guidelines, and aid any individual in need during the crisis. I urge you to work together to ensure that these workers have access to PPE as our country works to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

According to a recent survey, less than ten percent of American cities have an adequate supply of face masks for their first responders, including police, fire, and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and medical personnel. As a result, law enforcement departments across the country have resorted to soliciting donations from local businesses to obtain the masks, gloves and other supplies necessary to protect their workforces. First responders unable to obtain PPE have continued to bravely serve their communities – leaving them at greater risk of exposure to the deadly virus. Two members of the Detroit Police Department have already lost their lives to COVID-19, and nearly 500 officers there have been quarantined due to possible exposure. Eight Detroit firefighters have also tested positive for COVID-19.

Peters urged the Administration to take whatever action is necessary to ensure that the country’s frontline workers have the protections necessary to continue safely serving their communities. Peters requested information on how the federal government is taking into consideration the needs of first responders and law enforcement personnel when assessing the nationwide demand for PPE and other supplies. Peters also asked what authorities the federal government is utilizing or considering to ensure that states can provide PPE to their frontline workers.

The text of the letter is available below and here.

Download (PDF, 222KB)

For More Information

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