The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) is asking collision repair facilities across the country to consider donating any excess personal protective equipment they may have to health care workers.
In a March 24 post on Facebook, the association said they were recently contacted by Westlake Software, Inc. regarding an urgent call to action regarding respirator masks for health care workers.
“We were approached by a software company yesterday that has diverted their internal resources to helping assist where they can in the current crisis. They reached out, looking to see if the collision repair industry could be a source for N95 respirator masks,” SCRS stated. “The CEO of the company has a daughter in school at NYU, and it led him to conversations with Dr. Celine Gounder, clinical assistant professor of medicine and infectious diseases, NYU School of Medicine & Bellevue Hospital, and was asking for any assistance to support their efforts in fulfilling her requests. As Dr. Gounder shared, New York State and the NYC metro area are ground zero for the COVID-19 epidemic in the U.S. Health care providers are facing a critical shortage of personal protective equipment, especially of N95 respirator masks, but also of gowns and face shields.
“We recognize that many collision repairers may have these types of supplies in the shop. If you have an excess of masks, or are going to be closed for any period of time where the inventory isn’t immediately necessary, there may be ways to support your community through donation, whether to institutions such as the one listed below or local medical facilities in your own region.”
Donations should be shipped directly to:
Bellevue Hospital Center
Department of Medicine
462 1st Avenue – 16th Floor
New York, NY 10016
N95 masks are just as vital to the collision repair industry as they are to hospitals. According to the CDC, an N95 filtering facepiece respirator (FFR) is a type of respirator which removes particles from the air that are breathed through it. These respirators filter out at least 95% of very small particles. N95 FFRs are capable of filtering out all types of particles, from dust and paint to bacteria and viruses. This is why they are so important for health care workers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
With the influx of patients and chaos surrounding pandemic stockpiling, hospitals are running extremely low on N95 masks. Because of this, Scott Nelson of Nelson’s Auto Body in Glenwood Springs, Colo., is taking action during the pandemic.
“I am going to be cutting our use of N95 masks dramatically and having our techs stick to respirator-type masks with changeable filters,” said Nelson. “While it is important to keep our techs safe, it is important that the medical community has the most access to the N95 masks during this time of crisis.”
In response to the SCRS Facebook post, Soja’s Autobody in Fenton, Mich., stated, “We donated our N95 masks to a local ER. I called ahead and was directed to deliver the masks to the receiving door where someone was waiting to meet me. Every little bit can help, they were grateful and said every single item donated is needed.”
Pittsburgh, Pa.-area body shop County Line Collision Center donated the only unopened box of 3M N95 masks at his Murrysville shop to Forbes Hospital in nearby Monroeville.
“I would hope that other body shops, manufacturers, painters, things of that nature, would look and see what kind of masks they’re using and help everybody out by donating them to the hospitals or ambulance services – the people who really need them,” said Bill Sorochman of County Line Collision Center.