MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama EMA Director Brian Hastings said state agencies have shipped out 15 million items of personal protective equipment around the state since March.
Hastings describes Alabama’s pile of equipment as “decent.”
“We haven’t gotten to a point now, Alabama, where we actually can restock our state stockpile for public health,” he said.
Much of the equipment like gloves, face shields, and testing kits come to a Montgomery warehouse before being shipped out.
Officials say it is then distributed to hospitals, nursing homes, first responders, clinics and local governments usually within 72 hours of receiving a request.
They have also shipped out 75,000 test kits and 7,650 vials of Remdesivir with 4,790 vials still in stock. This is a potentially life-saving COVID-19 antiviral drug from the Department of Health and Human Services.
Hastings said the state does need more supplies.
“We want to replenish our stocks,” he explained. “We haven’t gotten to a place where we’re shipping more out than we’re actually keeping to replenish those stockpile.”
It becomes an even more pressing concern as the fall weather and school year approaches.
“You know, both the folks that work the staff, the teachers, faculty in the schools, plus the students to make sure that we were keeping kids safe,” he said. “We’re making parents feel comfortable, and we’re protecting our workforce at the same time.”
The Alabama EMA works with other agencies like the Alabama National Guard and the Alabama Forestry Commission to help ship the items across the state.