MADISON COUNTY, ALABAMA, Ala. — Volunteer firefighters are on the front lines facing COVID-19 every day, and they have been going through a lot of personal protective equipment.
Representative Rex Reynolds said, "Every call they went on, they had to what we call burn the gloves and masks and what have you, they were being discarded, and they were really going through their supplies quickly."
As the virus spread, so did their need for PPE. That's why local leaders are giving them additional funding.
"We have some flexibility with the TVA in lieu of tax money that each representative has access to," said Representative Reynolds. "Many of us chose to expend some of that funding during this COVID-19 shut down to support those agencies."
Representative Reynolds says volunteer firefighters are a critical part of our public safety, especially right now. The extra funding will help them stay safe throughout the pandemic.
"Now, they not only have to purchase that PPE material for today, but they've also got to stockpile for any kind of second wave if you will or the next pandemic," said Rep. Reynolds. "That is just something we have learned from this, and to do so, that goes outside their budget."
As COVID-19 cases climb in Madison County and throughout Alabama, the need for PPE will likely continue to go up for our firefighters.
"A lot of people even diagnosed, they want to stay home and try to treat symptoms," said Rep. Reynolds. "Sometimes they get overwhelmed and typically those volunteer fire departments are the first responders. They are there before HEMSI is because they are geographically located all throughout our county."
Representative Reynolds is encouraging people to donate to their volunteer fire departments. Whether it be PPE or monetary donations, they can always use your help.