CHICAGO – Chicago fire’s union did not like how the department handled a recent donation of 3,000 face shields from Ford.
On Thursday, Ford announced that they were donating 3,000 face shields to Chicago firefighters to keep the first responders safe.
However before they were sent out, Local 2 said CFD confiscated them.
Chicago fire said all PPE donations received need to be checked out first to make sure they meet requirements.
“The commissioner knew we had these for over a week. He said they’ve not been properly trained well let me show you how this works,” Local 2 President Jim Tracy said. “You pull this back, put it on your head ‘tada’, all done. That’s proper training.”
With 27 firefighters already testing positive for COVID-19 and another 31 in isolation, Local 2 is scrambling to get members the gear they need.
The father of CFD firefighter Justin Kreimes, Rod Kreimes, works at Ford and wanted to help.
“They want to make a difference they went to help however they can,” Justin Kreimes said. “My dad has always been very proud of me and what I’ve accomplished here as a fireman and I think it’s his way of giving back.”
The shields are meant to be worn as extra protection over N95 masks.
A CFD spokesperson said they initially didn’t know Ford’s face shields matched what they currently have in stock and added them to the PPE stockpile.
They released the following statement.
“To ensure these supplemental resources are distributed to the members that need it the most, the department is adding the face shields to the CFD stockpile to ensure that each shield can be tracked and distributed through the regular channels for our first responders.”
Ford is distributing 366,000 face shields across the country. The city itself will receive an additional 5,000 from Ford.