The apparatus bay at the Warren Fire Department is slowly filling with used CPAP and BiPAP machines donated by Warren residents, and could soon see frontline use in the fight against the Covid-19 virus.
Fire Department members have been soliciting donations of the unused machines used to treat sleep apnea since late last week. So far, Fire Chief James Sousa said residents have brought in about 20 of the machines, which will be retrofitted and modified into ventilators at a facility at the University of Rhode Island.
“It’s a great idea,” the chief said, adding that he’ll take as many unused and unneeded machines as he can get.
The fire department is not doing the mods. Instead, the machines are being collected on behalf of ventilatorproject.org, a statewide effort to collect and refurbish them to assist in treating Covid-19 patients.
“It’s amazing how friends, neighbors and talented strangers around the world have quickly come together to rise to this great challenge that faces us all,” said the project’s founder, Alex Hornstein of Providence. Our tight-knit community in the nation’s smallest state has been a great asset, allowing us to quickly and effectively reach and work with key COVID-19 responders across our state.”
Chief Sousa said he's been glad to see the donations come in, and hopes they will continue. You can drop them off Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the fire department. Use the rear door facing Railroad Avenue.
Chief Sousa said donors should follow a few guidelines before they bring their unneeded machines in:
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