LAKE MARY, Fla. - Carter's Ace Hardware, with multple locations serving Lake, Orange, and Citrus counties, is donating equipment to healthcare workers and first responders to help in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The family-owned chain recently received a shipment of 3M P100 face mask respirators. Instead of putting them on the sales floor, they have been offered to healthcare workers and first responders through the coordiantion efforts of the Lake County Office of Emergency Management.
Cade Carter is the general manager of Carter's Ace Hardware and also serves as president of the Central Florida Ace Dealers. After discussions with his father, Roy Carter, Cade said the family knew it was the right thing to do, given that there has been a shortage of face masks in the medical community.
"Talking with my dad, he wanted to get in touch with the local hosptial to make sure first resonders had everything they need," Carter explained. "We were blessed to have access to these high-demand items...so let's pay it forward and help the community."
Carter said Ace corporate leadership made the decision to distribute the facemask respirators to stores across the nation, encouraging individual store owners to consider similar donations.
A respirator is just one of several preventative measures that can be used to help reduce exposure to bacteria or viruses. Manufacturer 3M says while they do not eliminate the risk of infection, the respirators are designed to help reduce exposure to airborne hazards.