DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – In an effort to help limit the spread of the coronavirus, the city of Dayton is handing out free masks at a dozen fire stations to anyone who needs them. Response to the mask program has been incredible. One firefighter says he handed out 300 masks Tuesday in just a few hours.
Captain Brad French says, “Everybody in the community wants to do their part to stop the spread, and the Dayton Fire Department is already in the business of taking people to the hospital when they’re sick. And we want to do our part to help stop the spread.”
The city of Dayton is taking a proactive approach to make sure everyone who needs a mask gets one. Firefighters at 12 Dayton stations are handing out packs of 10 masks to each household that stops by.
Captain French says, “What we want to encourage everyone to do is to go to the front door of your local neighborhood fire houses. We have 12 stations across the city. And only Dayton Fire Department stations are participating in the program.”
The program is geared toward Dayton residents, but Captain French says they’re not checking IDs. The masks are paid for in part with funds secured through the federal CARES act. Many people walking and driving up to the station were grateful for the free masks because some store-bought masks are expensive.
Sandra Hancock says, “We still have to be cautious and wear a mask. And I’m glad to see everybody out with masks on because I guess they’re taking it seriously.”
Captain French says first responders know firsthand how critical masks are to keeping people safe, and they’re reminding people of the need to protect yourself. “We do some additional things to try to make sure the patient is as secure as possible to limit the possibility of disease spread from them. And the more the community can do to help stop the spread by picking up and wearing their masks, the better for everyone.”
The fire department program says this mask program will run for the next several days or until the supply runs out.