BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. — Sanitizing wipes, hand sanitzer and face masks. That's what Baltimore County Police and Fire Departments need right now to help keep themselves, their families and the community safe during this coronavirus pandemic. Sanitizing wipes top the list.
"They’re wiping down their cars. They’re wiping down their microphones. They’re doing that several times a day," said Hope Larson, the Chaplain for the Baltimore County Police and Fire Departments. She added, "... every shift, every day, at each precinct. That adds up. I think I tried to do the math the other day and it's probably like 30,000 wipes a day, easy."
They have received a lot of paper towel donations so some officers are able to use sanitizing spray and paper towels to wipe their gear down in the meantime.
Larson has been working tirelessly to make sure people in both of these departments have the supplies they need.
"I love our officers. I love our first responders. For me, it’s just doing the right thing," said Larson. She added, "I wish that I could show the community the look of relief the smiles the excitement when I walk in with hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes. It’s amazing. It’s been so rewarding and I love seeing that stress wash away," said Larson.
At the beginning of this pandemic, Larson said they were getting lots of donations from big box stores and even people in the community. She said, "as they’re getting less in, we’re getting less in and our community donations are going down because the community is also not able to get those items anymore."
These first responders aren't just worried about their personal safety but the safety of their families.
"As first responders, often times they’re the first to come in contact with someone who may be sick before they get to the hospital so each and every day they’re out in the community dealing with people that they don’t know where that person's been. If that person's been around something so at the end of every day they’re going home to their families and so they want to be extra cautious," said Larson. She added, "it’s a whole different thing when every single day you’re going home with that risk that normally only you face."
Since the CDC recommended everyone in public wear a face mask to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, they are looking for those as well. So if you'd like to donate masks, hand sanitizer or wipes you can call Larson directly at 443-484-8006. They are also accepting donations of non-perishable foods like protein bars since they're working long hours and Vitamin C packets to help with their immune system. Larson says every little bit helps.