AMHERST, N.Y. — Tuesday’s massive fire at Premium PPE in Amherst didn’t just destroy the company’s facility, but it also took out personal protective equipment, which local health care providers had been storing there.

Erie County Medical Center was one of the hospitals impacted.

What You Need To Know

  • On Tuesday, there was a massive fire at Premium PPE in Amherst
  • It didn't just destroy the company's facility
  • The fire also took out personal protective equipment


“We’re mandated by the state, as are all other hospitals, to have a 90-day supply of PPE on hand, which we met,” said Peter Cutler, ECMC vice president of communications. “So we have about two weeks’ worth of PPE on hand here at ECMC, the remainder of which was stored at the warehouse.”

Cutler said that when the hospital heard about the fire, purchasing personnel immediately contacted the vendors who supply them with PPE. 

“They worked expeditiously to start the process of ordering more PPE to replace what had been lost in the fire," added Cutler. 

Cutler estimates that this can be accomplished by sometime next week. He says that right now in the United States, versus one year ago, it’s much easier to acquire PPE.

“At the time that the pandemic broke out in spring of 2020, a great deal of PPE that was manufactured at that time was done offshore, principally in China,” says Cutler. “It was very difficult to acquire that PPE when we needed it, and everyone needed it all at once. Since that time, a lot of PPE has been manufactured in the United States. People learned that it was important to have a greater supply of PPE here.”

Michael Hughes, chief administrative officer for Kaleida Health, is also confident that this fire isn’t going to negatively impact the care of patients.

“I think first and foremost our biggest concern was, would it impact operations and patient care? And we quickly realized that we had enough stock on-hand at the hospitals that this was going to have zero impact on patient care," said Hughes.

Cutler says that as soon as he learned about what happened, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz reached out, saying that that the county stockpile was available.

Spectrum News 1 reached out to the state health department to see if both hospitals will be granted exceptions for the 90-day stockpile mandate, and did not immediately receive a response.