N95 mask

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch has announced that Sherwin Williams, a leading American company in the manufacture, distribution, and sale of paints, coatings, and related products has donated 5,000 3M N95 masks to first responders across Mississippi.

The masks are being distributed through First Responders of Mississippi (FROM), a non-profit organization that helps police, fire, and rescue workers and agencies get equipment and support.

Among the departments receiving the donations are fire departments in Southaven and Walls. Southaven Fire Chief Danny Scallions said his department had applied for the donations from FROM.

“We have applied for and received 130 masks from that program, so it sounds like we have Sherwin Williams to thank,” Scallions said.

In addition to facilitating the free distribution of these masks to police and fire departments across Mississippi, FROM also facilitated the purchase of over 8,600 N95 masks for officers at the Mississippi Department of Public Safety and Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics.

“I am thrilled to share this exciting news for our first responders, who are on the front lines right now, battling this pandemic,” said General Fitch. “It is precisely these kinds of acts of corporate citizenship and personal kindness that will help our nation emerge from this crisis stronger than before.”

“This is our mission,” said Jody Rigby, President of First Responders of Mississippi and a three-decade veteran of the Mississippi Highway Patrol. “We were founded to help Mississippi’s first responders in their hour of greatest need. And, now, with a silent enemy amongst us, our police, fire, and rescue workers need us more than ever.”

Preference was given to small police and fire departments without the means to purchase their own PPE.

Managing Editor Bob Bakken contributed to this article.