The Glendale Fire Department on Feb. 4 unveiled new kits for families dealing with COVID-19.
Describing it as her passion project, GFD spokeswoman Capt. Ashley Losch said the kits are designed for families who have loved ones in the hospital and need information about the next steps.
Several items are included, ranging from the usual masks and hand sanitizers to information. The COVID-19 kits come with a code on the front that, when scanned with a phone, will provide families with resources such as testing, vaccinations, CDC guidelines, and real-time updates on hospital visitation policies. They are intended to answer questions and provide care for families struggling through the virus.
“We as firefighters hate to be a dead end,” Losch said. “It’s the worst feeling you can imagine. This empowers us to not be that dead end for these family members, to hand them a bag of goodies and give them the information they need to take care of their family and answer those questions.”
Inspiration for this kit came from a similar program in Los Angeles. According to Losch, the Los Angeles Fire Department assembled similar kits, but they don’t have the information that is now available to Glendale families.
Losch said she sees the kits expanding to other departments. She said the GFD has told other local departments about the kits and is available to help.
Losch said her department reached out to BlueCross BlueShield of Arizona, the mayor’s office and the Home Depot Foundation. All were willing to help as well as provide enough material to fill 500 kits. Because of donations, the kits won’t require a budgetary expense.
According to Losch, the 500 kits were ready to distribute on Feb. 8. GFD was given the kits Feb. 5. Areas hardest hit by COVID-19 will see more kits, and teams in need of restock will be resupplied.
Losch said, in an average week, the department can see about 200 to 300 coronavirus cases, but she said thankfully that number is now down from a recent high of about 500 cases a week.