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ECMC, other hospital systems' PPE supply destroyed in Amherst fire

ECMC says they have two weeks of PPE supply on-hand at the hospital, and the county is helping to restock what was lost in the fire.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — ECMC has two weeks worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) for their staff on hand at their Grider Street facility. 

The remaining 75-day supply of PPE was destroyed in the fire on Earhart Drive in Amherst Tuesday, according to an ECMC spokesperson. 

"We anticipate being able to restock quickly," said Peter Cutler, vice president of communications and external affairs at ECMC. "Had this happened a year ago, it would be a much different story."

The difference, of course, is more local manufacturing of PPE versus the scenario when the pandemic started. 

Cutler said that as soon as word of the fire got to ECMC officials, their purchasing team started reaching out to various vendors across the country and started ordering PPE. 

But ECMC is also receiving help locally. 

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz spoke with ECMC officials on Tuesday and pledged some of the county's PPE supply to the hospital. 

A message to Poloncarz's office went unanswered Wednesday night. 

New York State is also being sympathetic to the situation ECMC faces this week. In September 2020, New York State mandated that all hospitals must have a 90-day supply of PPE on hand. The penalty for not having the supply is significant:

"Failure to possess and maintain such a supply of PPE may result in the revocation or suspension of the hospital’s license; provided, however, that no such revocation or suspension shall be ordered unless the Department has provided the hospital with a fourteen-day grace period, solely for a hospital’s first violation of this section, to achieve compliance with the requirement set forth herein."

According to ECMC, New York State has told the hospital it won't be enforcing the supply rule due to the circumstances of their supply being destroyed in a fire.

According to Premium PPE's website, they also supplied and stored PPE for Kaleida Health and Roswell Park.