Sikh Riders of America continues to ensure that workers on the front line of COVID-19 have all the necessary personal protective equipment to combat the pandemic locally.
“If they’re not safe, we’re not safe,” said Gurinder Singh Basra, founder and president of the Sikh Riders.
Of the 5,000 face shields the group constructed over the past week, they delivered 2,300 on Friday to workers in need of PPE. Enduring Friday morning’s light rainfall, the Sikh Riders brought shields to the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, the Kern County Fire Department and the Rosewood Senior Living Community.
Basra said he got involved with the Sheriff's Office after speaking to a correctional officer at a convenience store that he owns. When Basra asked the officer if they had masks or face shields at the jail, the answer was surprising.
“He told me that they didn’t have any masks or shields,” Basra said. “I reached out to (the Sheriff's Office) and they told me that they needed 1,000. After that I reached out to (the county Fire Department).”
The fire department made a similar request. The Sikh Riders decided to go above and beyond, delivering 1,100 face shields each to the two entities.
“We are very appreciative of such a generous act by members of our community,” said Andrew Freeborn, the county Fire Department's public information officer. “The PPE donation was a practical way for them to thank the firefighters on the frontlines of this pandemic.”
Basra said the Sikh Riders have received numerous calls for shields since they, and members of the RiverLakes Community Church, began constructing them last week. The group planned to ship 1,000 face shields to the Dallas chapter of the Sikh Riders on Friday.
Basra said that they are expecting a shipment of 1,000 KN95 masks on Monday that they plan on donating to additional front-line workers.
“We really appreciate (the Sikh Riders) for reaching out to us,” said sheriff's Deputy Marcus Moncur, as he accepted the donation. “You guys are awesome, thank you.”
Basra said the Sikh Riders will provide face shields and masks to any front-line workers that are in need.
“First responders have families, and we have to make sure that they get home safe,” Basra said.