Huge Operation Organizing, Shipping Out Critical PPE To Utah Hospitals

May 8, 2020, 7:38 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 4:17 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Four million pieces of personal protective equipment have been moved in and out of a very busy corner of the Salt Palace.

Several agencies were onsite Friday, the busiest day so far, to stage, sort and ship two truckloads of PPE.

“It’s a big effort across the board. It’s huge,” said Michael Glenn, who made sure hospitals are getting the exact type of equipment they need.

There was a lot of equipment to organize.

Michael Glenn, supply group & distribution lead, COVID-19 Response.

“When you find something, we’re not the only ones looking for it,” said Glenn, who was in the supply group and distribution lead on the project. “It’s not even just the United States that is looking for it. It’s everyone in the world.”

The area was bustling with office workers and department managers, sorting boxes and driving forklifts.

It may not be the original job they signed up for, but “It’s a pretty amazing effort,” said Terry Wood, director of communications for the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Wood said each agency has a unique way of pitching in.

Terry Wood, Utah DABC director of communications.

“We can take these PPEs, put them on one of our trucks that’s delivering to a liquor store in far-out areas of Utah, and it doesn’t cost anything to ship it down there,” he said.

The situation could change quickly, but Glenn was confident they were prepared.

“That’s the tricky part of a pandemic situation,” he said. “There are so many unknowns.”

What is known — people are always willing to help in Utah.

In all, six agencies and other volunteers are dedicated to the project every day. They were also preparing some boxes of protective equipment for small businesses, under 50 employees that were looking for that help.

Six agencies and a number of additional volunteers work in the Salt Palace each day.

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Huge Operation Organizing, Shipping Out Critical PPE To Utah Hospitals