Union Rep Andy Bulakowski Delivers Three Boxes of Masks in Fight Against Coronavirus
Cape May, New Jersey — When Andy Bulakowski saw the growing impact of the coronavirus, he contacted various institutions throughout Cape May County, offering his union local’s help.
He received a response from Joanne Carrocino, president and CEO, Cape Regional Health Center. She asked if the carpenters had surgical masks available because of their work on medical facilities. The union is currently building its new surgical center.
Bulakowski, union representative for Local 255, Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters, reached out to his contacts in the carpenter community. They uncovered three boxes containing a total of about 80 N95 masks.
The N95 is the most common of seven types of particulate filtering facepiece respirators. It will filter at least 95% of airborne particles, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
“We wouldn’t have gotten the masks if it weren’t for the effort of EST William Sproule, who directed me to Rob Smith and Phil Diaz at our training facility in Hammonton, New Jersey,” Bulakowski said. “We had worked on various projects at the hospital, and given the unusual circumstance, Rob and Phil both knew how important it was to help. We were happy to donate the masks.
“I picked up the boxes and delivered them to the hospital, laid them on the counter, and labeled them for the president and had someone babysit them,” Bulakowski said.
Bulakowski did not wear a mask when he dropped the boxes off but considered wearing one. “Then I thought, you’ve got doctors and nurses on the front line, and it seemed wrong to take one from the boxes,” Bulakowski said. The hospital canceled visitations for patients on March 15.
He received an email of thanks from Carrocino after informing her that he was dropping off the masks.
“Great! Please bring them to the South Lobby,” Carrocino replied in an email. “Thank you for making a difference and helping to protect our caregivers!”
“It’s in the nature of union carpenters to help when we can,” Bulakowski said. “We’ve done work at the hospital in Cape May Court House in the past and feel connected to its staff and its mission because they do a first-class job. We were fortunate to have these masks available, and it seemed like the right thing to do by offering them to our local hospital.”
For more information about Union Carpenters Local 255, visit www.ubclocal255.org.
For more information about Cape Regional Health System, visit www.caperegional.com.