Responding to the statewide shortage of critical medical supplies, Dorchester’s IBEW Local 103, the region's largest electrical workers' union, has donated 20,000 medical-grade protective masks to the Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) for direct distribution to front-line caregivers at Brigham and Women's Hospital.
“I want to thank the Massachusetts Nurses Association for their tireless work, and IBEW Local 103 for generously stepping up to provide this much needed equipment that will strengthen our collective response and save lives," said Mayor Martin Walsh. "Our nurses are working around the clock, on the frontlines of Boston's COVID-19 response. The tremendous outpouring of support we have seen every single day since the start of this public health crisis makes me so proud to be Mayor of the City of Boston.”
Laura Dayton, a nurse at Brigham and Women’s, helped coordinate the logistics of the IBEW’s donation with the help of her father, a retired Local 103 member. They sourced the masks from Source Squared owner Paul Kenney – one of Local 103's go-to PPE vendors.
"Words can't express how grateful I am, and how grateful all my colleagues are for these supplies," said Dayton. “They're going to help ensure that we can do our jobs safely and effectively, for everyone's sake. IBEW Local 103 didn't hesitate to do all they could to help, and it means the world to have their support through this incredibly difficult time."
"My father has always been so proud to be a part of IBEW Local 103, and today it's especially easy to see why," she added. "It's a really special moment for me."
Lou Antonellis, IBEW Local 103 Business Manager and Financial Secretary, said: "Whatever our nurses need, we’re there. The bravery these caregivers are showing, and the sacrifices they are making are incredible and we need to honor and support that. IBEW Local 103 is a community-focused organization, and we're going to continue to support them in every way possible."
IBEW Local 103 compiled bags of masks for direct distribution to MA First Responders.
Over the weekend, IBEW Local 103 also donated thousands of additional masks to First Responders in surrounding cities and towns, coordinating trips to fire stations in Billerica, Methuen, Lawrence, Salem, Woburn, Somerville, Quincy, Weymouth and Milton.
"The 12,000 plus members of the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts are forever grateful to the leadership, and membership, of IBEW Local 103, for their ongoing efforts to provide PPE to first responders and nurses who are battling this pandemic," said Rich MacKinnon, Jr., President of the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts.
Trish Powers, the MNA’s chairperson at Brigham and Women's Hospital, appealed to the larger community to do their part in collecting urgent supplies.
"MNA stands with our front-line caregivers who are bravely fighting this pandemic for our community, and it breaks my heart that these are the conditions they're dealing with," said Powers.
"The MNA is working around the clock to support our nurses in any way we can, but this needs to be a community effort. Sourcing these supplies needs to be our collective priority, and any and all donations will literally help save thousands of lives. IBEW Local 103 has stepped up to the plate and shown our nurses that they are not alone in this battle. Our gratitude for their support is truly boundless."
To donate funds or supplies to front-line caregivers, visit:
Boston Resiliency Fund - https://www.boston.gov/news/boston-resiliency-fund-surpasses-20-million-...
COVID-19 PPE Procurement and Donation Fund (MA) - https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-ppe-procurement-and-donation-program