PREBLE COUNTY — The Preble County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is asking the community to donate fabric masks for First Responders, Healthcare Workers, and Preble County Council on Aging in an outreach called “Mission: Masks.”
MRC is a team of volunteers housed under Preble County Public Health (PCPH) to support public health operations during times of disaster and emergencies. MRC volunteers are registered in the Ohio Responds database and are both medical and non-medical community members who are at least 18 years of age.
In 2019, after the Memorial Day tornadoes, Preble County MRC volunteers helped our neighbors as they served as family companions at the Montgomery County Family Assistance Center, as well as assisting the American Red Cross with canvassing in Trotwood.
For the COVID-19 response, Preble County MRC volunteers have assisted with mailings, making weekly well-check calls to senior for the Preble County Council on Aging, worked in a local food pantry, and have staffed the temperature and screening station at the Preble County Court House until a person was hired, and filled in when needed.
In addition to other COVID-19 response efforts, the Preble County MRC launched “Mission: Masks” on March 24 of this year when guidance came out for healthcare workers, Fire & EMS crews, and law enforcement personnel to begin re-using their N95 and surgical masks due to a critical shortage.
The initial idea was to provide fabric masks so they could be worn over their protective masks to prolong the life of the mask. Shortly after launching the campaign requests came in from partner county agencies for their employees doing home visits, and from the Preble County Council on Aging for their transportation drivers and home delivered meals drivers, as an extra protection for the clients they serve.
With the overwhelming support received from volunteers and community members making and providing masks, as well as Joann Fabrics in Richmond, Indiana for donating supplies, MRC has been able to donate almost 600 masks to many Preble County agencies, First Responder crews, home health, WIC, and to senior citizens.
They have a new goal to provide the Preble County Council on Aging with masks for all their clients. This agency serves one of the most vulnerable populations and with the help of volunteers and community members MRC believes they can achieve this goal.
According to Preble County WIC Director, Marilyn Wilson, it is recommended for all breastfeeding mothers to wear a mask if they are sick while caring for their babies. MRC has been able to provide masks for that initiative, but would like to expand upon that idea and provide masks to all WIC mothers caring for their children.
MRC is seeing more and more needs daily for these masks. There are new recommendations for law enforcement to mask all detainees, and for EMS crews to mask all transported patients and ride-alongs, so MRC is in need of even more masks.
Preble County Public Health would like to thank all MRC volunteers and community members for their overwhelming support and generosity. Mission: Masks has already become a huge success and with the community’s help, they can continue to reach their goals.
For anyone who’d like to get involved, masks can be dropped off 24 hours a day in the drop-box located outside the front door at Preble County Public Health, 615 Hillcrest Drive, Eaton. PCPH asks donors to put name, phone, and email address in with the masks when dropping off. The Mission: Masks campaign will continue until there is no longer a need for masks in the community.
Preble County Public Health will provide updates on the program on their Facebook page, as well as updates on the status of COVID-19. For more information on COVID-19, visit www.preblecountyhealth.org, and the Ohio Department of Health’s website www.coronavirus.ohio.gov.
If you’re interested in becoming a member of the Preble County MRC, please contact Suzy Cottingim, Preble County MRC Coordinator, by calling 937-472-0087, or you can email her for an application at email@example.com. The Preble County MRC will need many more volunteers when a vaccine becomes available for COVID-19. Please consider volunteering.