BOONTON — The New Jersey Firemen’s Home is fighting an outbreak of COVID-19 that has sickened residents and staff members, and the facility is in need of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers.
“There is a critical need for medical masks, gloves, and gowns to protect the health of nurses and other workers as well as the retired firefighters who reside at the home,” said Senator Anthony M. Bucco. “The pandemic has significantly increased the demand for protective health gear, and there is a temporary shortage as manufacturers struggle to keep pace. The challenge right now is getting the existing stocks to the front lines where they are needed the most. The Firemen’s Home has been hard hit by the virus and is in urgent need of PPE.”
A volunteer firefighter with the Boonton Fire Department for almost 40 years, Bucco is teaming with Chief Nicholas Witczak, president of the Morris County Fire Chiefs Association, to encourage other fire departments to donate the needed equipment.
“The residents at the Home are our brother firefighters and it is critical now more than ever to help them for all they have given over the years,” said a letter, signed by Bucco and Witczak, to fire chiefs across Morris County.
The Firemen’s Home houses 62 retired firefighters, and at least 22 residents and 15 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.
“We need to ensure the continued health and safety of the many heroes who spent their lives running toward dangerous situations responding to their neighbors’ emergencies,” Senator Bucco said. “To do so, we also must protect the essential workers who care for them. A few thin layers of protective equipment are necessary tools to prevent the further spread of coronavirus and maintain the care of our brother firefighters at the facility.”