FROM LOCAL NORTH JERSEY MANUFACTURER
HACKENSACK, N.J. – Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco announces that the County of Bergen and Bergen New Bridge Medical Center recently made a collaborative bulk purchase of 110,000 NOISH approved N95 respirators from Protective Health Gear, a local manufacturing company based in Paterson, New Jersey.
Their production factory which traditionally produces “high end retail store fixtures and displays” initially shutdown because of the pandemic but retooled to begin producing PPE to supply frontline workers. Then in early September 2020, Protective Health Gear became the first company in New Jersey to receive federal NIOSH approval under the public health emergency to produce N95 filtering face-piece respirators.
The demand for personal protective equipment, especially the highly coveted NOISH approved N95 respirator, remains high as hospitals and local governments continue to battle the pandemic and brace for a potential second spike in COVID-19 cases this fall. Since the start of the pandemic, the County of Bergen’s Purchasing Division has worked around the clock to maintain a stockpile of PPE.
Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco explains the importance of this purchase, “Since the outbreak of the global health crisis, my administration has taken measures to secure the largest stockpile of PPE in the State of New Jersey to make sure those on the frontline have the essential tools to protect themselves,” said County Executive Tedesco. “But this didn’t happen overnight. Even with the County’s massive purchasing power, one of the earliest challenges we faced was finding vendors that could quickly turn around bulk orders of PPE. It is reassuring that we now have a line to a local manufacturer producing N95 masks only a few miles away.”
Deborah Visconi, President and CEO of Bergen New Bridge Medical Center echoed a similar sentiment, “Preparedness, including having PPE at the ready is essential as we continue to wage the war against COVID-19. The next few months could be challenging with an uptick in COVID-19 cases and the onset of flu season. Having a local partner who can produce and supply N95 masks is a game changer. We are thankful to the County and our County Executive for their dedicated efforts to ensure our healthcare professionals have what they need to safely care for our communities,” said Deborah Visconi, President and CEO of Bergen New Bridge Medical Center.
“This has been a long but exciting process for us,” said Brian Wolin, CEO of Protective Health Gear. “We are proud to be the first company in New Jersey to receive NIOSH approval under the public health emergency to produce N95 filtering face-piece respirators. We are in the business of helping our neighbors so it was our honor to facilitate this purchase with the County of Bergen and Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, the largest public hospital in the state. We look forward to a continuing partnership as we work together to win the battle against COVID-19.”
“The continuing Coronavirus infection and the possibility of stark surges as we enter flu season underscores the importance of having a stockpile of masks and respirators to wear,” said Freeholder Chairwoman Mary Amoroso. “We are so pleased that a local manufacturer has retooled operations to give us another source for frontline workers.”Photo caption from left to right: PHG COO Evan Schulman, PHG CEO Brian Wolin, New Bridge Medical Center CEO Deborah Visconi, Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco, Bergen County Freeholder Chairwoman Mary Amoroso, Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Cureton, and Bergen New Bridge Medical Center COO Aaron Hajart with the supply order in Paramus