FEMA to Now Provide ONE MILLION Masks to Truckers, FMCSA Says
Washington D.C. – On Wednesday, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will now provide one million masks to commercial drivers in the coming days.
In making the announcement, FMCSA Acting Administrator Jim Mullen, pointed to the “incredible efforts” truckers are continuing to make as they “deliver goods and supplies to homes, businesses, and hospitals throughout America.”
“With the help of our state partners and the motor carrier industry, these protected masks will help truckers remain safe and healthy while they continue to maintain our nation’s supply chain,” Mullen said.
However, it’s now been seven weeks since President Donald Trump declared the COVID-19 pandemic a National Emergency and the FMCSA issued its unprecedented 50-state hours of service (HOS) exemption.
In that time, a long list of trucking groups, stakeholders, and countless truckers have publicly called for the Department of Transportation (DOT) to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to drivers.
Those demands finally became a reality on Wednesday as the first of one million masks began being distributed to truckers in Nebraska.
@TNationNetwork just entered Nebraska westbound on hwy 2. Stopped at scale and DOT was handing out face masks to drivers
— EricinKC (@Baseballblueskc) April 29, 2020
Over the coming days, the FMCSA says 800,000 protective masks will be distributed to professional drivers at inspection sites and rest areas at more than 45 locations in 8 states, which include: Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska, New York, and Texas.
Click HERE to view a full list of distribution sites.
In addition, the Agency announced on Wednesday, another 200,000 masks will be delivered directly to motor carriers to distribute to drivers.
The FMCSA did not specify which carriers will be receiving the PPE.
In addition to urging federal agencies to provide PPE to truckers, many within the trucking industry have also called for making coronavirus testing readily accessible to drivers while over-the-road.
Acting Administrator Mullen also addressed those concerns in a Medical Review Board meeting this week.
“We are looking at high-volume rest areas to see how we can accomplish that,” Mullen stated. “We hope to roll that out in the near future.”
Transportation Nation Network will certainly bring you any new developments.
Photo courtesy of Twitter: @Baseballblueskc
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