When his crews of healthcare workers were lacking the equipment they needed to fight the coronavirus outbreak in South Florida, a medical director in Davie called in a favor from friends abroad and managed to ship in thousands of medical gowns to be distributed across the area.
Peter Antevy, a medical director for Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Rescue, said it was thanks to a contact in China that he was able to get his hands on 5,000 Dupont Tyvek gowns. These gowns are made from high-density fibres that offer protection against airborne elements and other dangerous liquids, oils and chemicals.
“After all, I’m a doctor, but I have a connection in China and when my crews couldn’t get the suits they needed, I went into gear and I called my connection and this is the result," Antevy said.
The gowns will be distributed to paramedics, doctors and nurses across local hospitals in South Florida, including Memorial Regional Hospital, Cleveland Clinic, and fire departments in Coral Springs, Hollywood and North Lauderdale.
Another 10,000 gowns are expected to be delivered next week, and an additional 40,000 after that.
“We know a lot of physicians are going to get sick, and if we’re not protecting ourselves from this disease, then we’re going to be spreading this disease significantly throughout the community," Antevy added. "This is very important.”
"We are covering ourselves up so we don’t infect the people and the people don’t infect us."
Zachary Roseboom, Captain of the Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department, said he had been trying to get his hands on Tyvek suits since January.
"It's been difficult, so we're lucky to have a connection like Dr. Antevy," Roseboom said.