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.