Lowe’s, Firefighters, partner to deliver KN95 masks

By Brandi Makuski

Plover businesses got a little extra hand in playing it safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to Lowe’s and the Plover Fire Department.

Plover Fire Chief Mark Deaver said his department was contacted by the Plover location of Lowe’s, 230 Crossroads Dr., earlier this month. The company decided to donate KN95 masks for distribution among the 40 or so businesses inside the village limits.

Jason Vandewalle, assistant store manager at Lowe’s, said the company donated about 4,000 of the masks, valued at over $8,000.

“We’re working with the Plover Fire Department to help spread awareness for the KN95 masks, just trying to help other businesses in the area,” said Vandewalle, who rode along with Deaver in a PFD vehicle on the morning of June 23. Both donned surgical masks while handing out the KN95 masks at several businesses in the Crossroads Commons area.

Deaver said other members of the department were delivering KN95 masks in a different area of the village on Tuesday.

Along with the supply of masks, Deaver and Vandewalle, passed out fliers reminding local employees and business owners about the importance of continuing to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), even though some versions of the mask may be in short supply, cumbersome, or expensive.

“KN95 masks are one step down from N95 masks, but one step up from the surgical masks that we’re wearing,” Deaver said. “They’re still effective.”

Deaver said the department also handed out about 500 of the masks to local nursing home facilities, and he hopes the department can reach every business in the village.