Hillsdale County Emergency Management Department plans to commence construction of a new facility this spring.
Led by Doug Sanford, the new facility will create storage for personal protective equipment, which there was a dire need for in the height of the pandemic, according to Sanford.
“We quickly realized we didn’t have any place to store anything, so we made due, but we also made note that, if we could do so, we needed to build a storage facility,” Sanford said.
According to Sanford, the COVID-19 pandemic generated a significant demand for personal protective equipment for first responders and civilians alike. What local governments all over America quickly realized was that a large amount of space was required to house the equipment. Hillsdale was one of the many counties to find themselves lacking storage, and so is now taking steps to increase storage space by building a 30 x 40-foot pole barn to house emergency equipment.
Over $35,000 has been dedicated to this task, and the county has contracted with Poole Construction of Osseo to build the facility, says Sanford, and he anticipates breaking ground by spring, weather permitting.
This facility will be used to house PPE and other emergency equipment and keep it on hand in case of another emergency of this scale arising, Sanford said. Being wholly unprepared for the magnitude of the COVID-19 crisis, Hillsdale County was forced to keep emergency supplies in a small structure behind the sheriff’s office.
Although the primary motivation to build this facility was to house pandemic-related supplies, it will be used to benefit the county in other areas as well.