YAPHANK, Long Island (WABC) -- Donations of medical masks, gowns, gloves, antibacterial and any other desperately needed medical supplies are being accepted at the Suffolk County Fire Academy in Yaphank this week.
Suffolk County organized the drive to help hospitals, medical centers, doctors offices and nursing homes where medical supplies are dwindling as more people are diagnosed with the coronavirus. The supplies are also desperately needed for EMS workers, police officers and first responders.
Kevin Dickerson, of Calverton, dropped off 20 N95 masks and 90 pairs of latex gloves Monday morning. He had purchased them in December while renovating his house.
"I'm not worried about myself and my family," he said. "I feel that we're pretty protected right now in our houses and the medical workers and everybody else are going to need them a lot more than we are."
Suffolk Eastern and Western BOCES donated several vans filled with medical supplies typically used by their nursing and healthcare students.
Matt Dellaratta, owner of moving company Get Moving USA, donated boxes of gloves.
"It feels good to do it," Dellaratta said. "It feels like I'm taking an active part."
Donations are also being distributed at the Suffolk County Fire Academy, so as the donations come in, they go right out.
"The priorities are healthcare institutions, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, critical identified medical practices," said Chief Joel Vetter of Suffolk County Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services.
Facilities can register to receive donations.
As of Monday afternoon, donations totaled 40,000 gloves, 3,000 N95 masks and 1,500 gowns.
Richard Staddon, of Ridge, donated a box of latex gloves and a box of masks.
"I figured it was definitely the right thing to do and I wanted to do my share," he said.
Donations can be dropped off Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m at the Suffolk County Fire Academy located at 103 East Avenue in Yaphank.
The need is unprecedented and no donation is too small.
"I hope everybody else can do the same thing," Dickerson said. "Whatever they have, you know, around the house and they're not using, to bring it down."
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