KY National Guard to collect protective equipment donations for health care workers

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – Governor Andy Beshear on Thursday announced the Kentucky National Guard will start collecting things like gloves, masks and other protective equipment.

During his daily coronavirus update, he said, “we believe this is the next area where there’s going to be a big run in the United States. We need as many of those donations as we can.”

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The healthcare workers helping others fight the coronavirus don’t even have access to the tools that once seemed always available to keep them safe.

People across the country have been seen making PPE, or personal protective equipment, for those who just can’t find it. Now, help is coming on even grander scale.

Major Stephen Martin with the Kentucky National Guard says after the governor’s urgent plea, the response was immediately overwhelming

“We were watching the press conference just along with everybody else and before the governor even had the opportunity to put the slide up with the telephone number, the phone was already ringing,” Martin said

He said the hotline should be up and working by Friday and the response shows how united Kentuckians are.

Martin but also broke down how the donation process will work.

“So when a person calls in, we’ll take their information and what they’re willing to donate, just so we have a record of it,” Martin said. “But that person on the phone will then direct the caller to the County Emergency Management, where we can coordinate a local drop off.”

Martin says keeping it local will prevent Kentuckians and the National Guard from having to travel too far.

Amidst the changes to everyday life Kentuckians have made, Martin says he’s grateful for the resilience he’s seen.

“We’re incredibly proud of our fellow Kentuckians,” Martin said. “We’re Kentuckians helping Kentuckians too, just one small piece of the pie. You’ve got first responders out there working 13, 14, 15 hour shifts in hospitals and their contribution cannot go unnoticed either.”

Martin says there are more than 200 guardsmen already working to help battle this pandemic.

To donate equipment, call 502-607-6844.