Mobile Fire-Rescue gives N-95 masks to Wave Bus Drivers

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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Mobile Fire-Rescue is helping Wave buses after finding a surprise of unused N-95 masks.

Wave Buses are still operating their Mobility Assistance Program (MAP) for people with disabilities, just not the normal fixed routes. This means passengers, often in the higher risk category, are still on-board.

Wave Safety and Training Manager Joshua Harris said, “We have the, pretty much all the PPE we need besides the masks.”

Personal protective equipment can be hard to come by during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Harris said, “Us trying to get our hands on the proper masks for our drivers has been an issue. Everybody’s on back-order as you know and PPE is very difficult to get a hold of.”

That’s why Fire Chief Mark Sealy was surprised when he found more than 200 N-95 masks sitting around unused. He said, “Nobody else wanted to use them because of the defective straps that had dry-rotted over the years.”

He says his wife had an idea and got their daughter to help, buying rubber bands and replacing the old elastic with them. Chief Sealy said, “They spent Easter Sunday tying these things up, so I’m not surprised I’m grateful and humbled, but they do that all the time. They’ve supported us and our department, me, and I’m just very appreciative of what they do.”

Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson said, “You get a lot of unusual calls during times like this. Well I got one from Chief Sealy.”

Chief Sealy said, “I kind of mentioned it to the mayor and he put it out there in his press conference and next thing you know we have a need that Wave has.”

While the buses are not up to their normal speed, currently only running the Mobility Assistance Program, there are still passengers and drivers aboard. Harris said, “Once you have that sense that people are actually trying to do the best they can especially in this pandemic that we’re going through everybody needs to rely on each other. We really need to come together as one.”

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