Please support local news coverage –

Donate Here

Warren Fire Department collecting CPAPS for re-use as ventilators

Unneeded sleep apnea machines to be retrofitted into ventilators at University of Rhode Island


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, 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:

  • Remove any parts, such as masks and hoses, that have been in contact with a person.
  • Remove any water in the humidifier assembly.
  • Disinfect the machine and put them in unscented garbage bags. Tie them closed.
  • Once you're done, wash your hands again.

Please support your local news coverage


The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the local economy - and many of the advertisers who support our work - to a near standstill. During this unprecedented challenge, we continue to make our coronavirus coverage free to everyone at - we believe it is our mission is to deliver vital information to our communities. If you believe local news is essential, especially during this crisis, please consider a tax-deductible donation. 

 Donate Here

 Thank you for your support!

 Matt Hayes, Warren Times-Gazette Publisher

2024 by East Bay Media Group

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.