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UPDATE: COVID-19 emergency center receives ventilators for 17 local hospitals
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UPDATE: COVID-19 emergency center receives ventilators for 17 local hospitals

GARY — A shipment of critical care ventilators arrived Saturday at the Indiana District 1 Emergency Operations Center/Multi-Agency Coordination Center at the Gary/Chicago International Airport.

The ventilators were shipped from General Motors & Ventec Life Systems. The “VOCSN V+Pro” ventilators were manufactured in Kokomo and will be distributed to area hospitals.

The shipment is part of a partnership in response to needs arising from the coronavirus pandemic, according to Lori Postma, Indiana District 1 public information officer. The ventilators will fill needs in hospitals in Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton and Jasper counties.

“Northwest Indiana has quickly become a COVID-19 hotspot and our coordination with the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy and the Federal Emergency Management Agency has provided us with an outstanding opportunity to supplement the equipment needs of 17 hospitals in District 1,” Postma said.

Emergency Operations Center opens at Gary/Chicago International Airport

Dr. Peter Navarro, White House assistant to the president, said the collaboration between GM, Ventec, UPS and FEMA made the swift production and delivery of the ventilators possible.

“Through the seamless coordination of FEMA, these lifesaving devices are equally rapidly being delivered to hospitals in need in Chicago and Gary,” Navarro said. “A patriotic White House salute to the full power of private enterprise joining hands with the full force of the federal government to fight the invisible enemy.”

Ventec Life Systems CEO Chris Kiple said the critical care ventilators deliver precise airflow to protect the lungs, have accurate monitors that assess well-being and have advanced controls that will allow heath care workers to efficiently wean patients off the ventilators.

GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra commended the commitment of staff at GM, Ventec and the businesses’ suppliers to make the manufacturing and delivery possible.

UPS expedited the delivery to the center in Gary from the manufacturing center, said UPS Chairman and CEO David Abney.

Postma said those who would like to join the Indiana District 1 Emergency Operations Center/Multi-Agency Coordination Center can contact the logistics department at 219-576-2786.

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Night Crime/Breaking News Reporter

Anna Ortiz is the breaking news/crime reporter for The Times, covering crime, politics, courts and investigative news. She is a graduate of Ball State University with a major in journalism and minor in anthropology. 219-933-4194,

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