First Responders Are Asking the Public to Sew Masks

First responders in the Sioux Falls area are asking the public to consider donating homemade cloth facemasks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Masks are needed for dispatchers, EMS, and firefighters.

In addition to wearing N95 masks in situations with patient contact, cloth masks will be worn by first responders when working with other responders, coworkers, and the public, in an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. This is in accordance with CDC guidelines

The goal is to collect 600 masks, which will help to augment existing PPE supplies. First responders may also distribute homemade masks to vulnerable populations.

Battalion Chief Matthew McAreavey said, “We’re extremely grateful to those in our community who are willing to participate in this effort. Not only will this help to keep our first responders safe and healthy, it’s a step in the right direction of helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the Sioux Falls community. Send us your fun designs and our first responders may just model their new masks to see who can wear it best!”

Avera and Sanford Health have provided instructions for making cloth facemasks. Sanford Health recommends the pattern found on the CDC's website, and Avera has posted instructions on their website.

Collection bins will be available for mask drop-off at all Sioux Falls fire stations, or masks can be mailed to SFFR Station 3, 2820 South Minnesota Avenue, Sioux Falls, SD 57105.

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