Edina, MO - Wednesday, April 15, 2020 - Above is an interview with Fire Chief Javi Gil, Rutledge Volunteer Fire Department, about the recall of recently issued personal protective equipment (PPE) masks by the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).
Fire departments and law enforcement agencies throughout the State of Missouri received PPE from SEMA on April 2 and April 8, 2020. A total of 48,000 masks were distributed before being recalled on April 13, according to information shared with The Edina Sentinel.
Missouri SEMA Director Jim Remillard sent a letter to agencies who received the faulty masks asking for them to be taken out of circulation until the State can reclaim them. The only reason given was that the masks "did not meet standards".
The recall has left some rural agencies with a very short supply of protective masks including the Rutledge Volunteer Fire Department, which is operating with only 25 N95 masks for a 17-person department.
The Edina Sentinel is trying to determine how many recalled masks were distributed to the Northeast Region of Missouri, which agencies received them, what the State of Missouri is doing to remedy this problem and what options rural fire departments and law enforcement agencies have if the State doesn't come through before the current supply of PPE masks become exhausted.
A letter from the SEMA Director and a photo of a mask was sent to agencies that received the recalled masks. Photos of the correspondence are shown below.
Name Spelling Correction: *Javi* Gil is the correct spelling for the Rutledge VFD Chief