By Ray King

Pine Bluff Fire and Emergency Service Chief Shauwn Howell said Wednesday his department has enough PPE (Personal Protection Equipment), including N-95 masks to protect firefighters and the community.

Appearing on the Oldies 101.3 morning show, Howell said that at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a big demand for the N-95 masks so it may have taken a little longer for orders to arrive than was the case prior to COVID-19.

He said the masks are primarily used just once and acknowledged dispatchers at MECA (Metropolitan Emergency Communications Association) with helping to prolong the use by asking more questions of callers before dispatching firefighters.

Howell said this extra screening allows firefighters to know what level of protection they will need when they arrive at the scene.

He was also asked how long the current supply of N-95 masks would last.

Listen to Howell’s entire interview in the audio player below: