HANOVER — Over one hundred of Hanover Township’s first responders will soon have better protection from COVID-19 exposure with Fire District No. 3’s imminent purchase of a new respiratory protection “fit-tester” machine. The equipment will be financed through a $25,000 grant from Bayer Fund, a philanthropic arm of the life sciences company Bayer.
Bayer Fund announced the award for the purchase on December 4th to support all of Hanover Township’s emergency management personnel. The fit-tester will be located in Fire District No. 3’s Fire House in the Cedar Knolls section of the Township, affording convenient access for use by the firefighters and emergency medical technicians of District No. 3, Fire District No. 2 (Whippany Fire Department), and Hanover Township departments of Police, Health, and Office of Emergency Management.
“The timing of the grant award could not have been better,” stated Bob O’Hare, Chairman of Hanover Township Fire District No. 3’s Board of Fire Commissioners. “With the second wave of COVID-19 bringing higher case numbers, and the potential for even greater numbers with the upcoming holidays, anything additional we can do to help protect our first responders and the public we serve is crucial. The Fire Commissioners are very grateful to Bayer and Bayer Fund for supporting all emergency management personnel and volunteers in the past, and most recently, through this generous grant award that’s making the purchase of this fit-tester possible.”
Fire Chief Chad DiGiorgio, who submitted the grant application on behalf of Fire District No. 3 for the benefit of all Hanover Township’s first responders, is thrilled with the award. “I have always looked for grant opportunities that all of our first responders could use as shared-services,” DiGiorgio commented. “The machine we’ve all been using up until this point doesn’t allow for fit testing of N95 and P100 masks, respiratory filtering that offers the highest level of protection to first responders. The new fit-tester will not only enable this testing, but also measure real-time fit while the user performs a series of moving, breathing, and talking exercises designed to simulate activities done in the field. The OSHA-compliant device will also maintain records of all testing and give us the ability to generate reports.”
The announcement of the grant award coincided with the unveiling of a new and improved Bayer sign-on Whippany Road in Whippany, New Jersey, the site of Bayer’s U.S. headquarters. Bayer dedicated the sign to its employees who have worked so hard throughout the pandemic. Raymond F. Kerins, Jr., SVP and New Jersey Site Leader for Bayer in the U.S. noted, “The dedication of this new sign to our employees who have worked diligently through this crisis, together with Bayer Fund’s $25,000 donation, demonstrates our commitment both to our team and to our community heroes in emergency services. What we want the Township of Hanover to know is that Bayer is right by your side, and we will continue to stand with you as all of us continue to meet and overcome the challenges associated with the pandemic.”
On behalf of the Hanover Township Committee, Mayor John L. Ferramosca joined Hanover Township Fire District No. 3 in acknowledging the grant award. “The governing body and I want to thank Bayer and Bayer Fund for once again supporting the Hanover Township community in meaningful ways that enhance our quality of life and provide assistance to our first responders in staying safe.”