Colonial Auto Parts and A.P.M. Limited have donated their combined inventory of 3M respirator masks to local health care authorities.
The masks – including half- and full-face reusable masks, as well as disposable mouth and nose masks – were designed for use in mechanical and collision shops, but have been deemed suitable as Covid-19 personal protection equipment (PPE).
With the help of Gerry Stead, a 3M safety specialist in the personal safety division, the auto parts distributor reached out to provincial health departments in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and to offer assistance.
“Upon learning that each province is in desperate need of half-face and full-face respiratory masks, we were humbled to be able to donate our entire inventory to protect those in the communities we serve,” said Douglas Squires, president of Colonial Auto Parts and A.P.M. Limited.
According to Jean Kent, senior director of supply chain operations for the Nova Scotia Health Authority, “These respirators are much more comfortable for breathing in for prolonged periods of time and have been specifically requested by our ER doctors.”
He told Colonial Auto Parts and A.P.M. that their generous offer would go to good use, particularly among emergency physicians who have to wear N95 masks all day long.
“We are having a hard time getting them, so I am beyond grateful for this generous offer of support for Healthcare workers,” Kent said.
Ann Dolan, executive director of strategic procurement for Service New Brunswick, and Fraser Fry, regional manager biomedical engineering for Newfoundland Eastern Health, shared similar sentiments of appreciation.
Collectively, the 20 Colonial Auto Parts and A.P.M. Limited branches donated 111 3M half-face and full-face reusable respirator masks and 1,580 N95 disposable masks in total to the heath care front lines in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.
“Supplies of PPE are dangerously low, and we encourage all aftermarket suppliers as well as other industries such as mining, welding and automotive repair to check for items they might not initially think are useful in medical settings,” Squires said. “Most N95 masks, cartridge replacement filters, cleaners, and other PPE related materials are suitable, and much needed in the battle to slow the spread of Covid-19.”
Colonial Auto Parts and A.P.M. Limited have been family-owned and operated since 1926 and 1941 respectively, with 20 branch locations they are the largest independent suppliers of aftermarket automotive parts and body shop supplies in Atlantic Canada.