Gloves, masks, respirators and more: UWM donated PPE to health care workers, first responders

MILWAUKEE -- University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee faculty, researchers and staff have come together to support emergency health care workers and first responders by donating their personal protective equipment.

According to a news release Thursday, April 2, with the UWM Police Department and University Safety and Assurances coordinating the collection, the university secured 31,300 gloves, nearly 900 masks (345 of which are N95 respirators), 125 pieces of eye protection, 20 gowns and nine hazmat suits.

The supplies were donated to the Milwaukee County Unified Emergency Operations Center on Wednesday afternoon, April 1. From there, UWM officials said the materials would be distributed to hospitals and first responders in Milwaukee County.

The collection began March 25 and ran through March 31. On weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., people from UWM schools, colleges and other areas could drop off materials at the UWM Police Department office. Lt. Brian Switala said that because donations were not tracked, there is no way to know exactly which departments donated what. It was, he noted, a team effort by the university to give back to the community.

“We’re all really impressed with what UWM was able to do,” Switala said in the release.

As COVID-19 spreads throughout the state and the nation, personal protective equipment for health care workers has become crucial as shortages abound.

Officials with the UWM Police Department and University Safety and Assurances said they'er thankful for all who donated.

“Without them, this wouldn’t be possible,” Switala said.