Bridgestone Folk Prove They’re Good Samaritans

NASHVILLE, TN- World-health experts are racing against time to control the spread of the deadly Ebola disease and tire-making giant Bridgestone is “tirelessly working” alongside charitable organizations Samaritan’s Purse and UNICEF.

Firestone Liberia, a Bridgestone Americas subsidiary, has been directly affected by the Ebola outbreak. Since the outbreak hit Liberia, there have been about 71 Firestone Liberia employees, family members, retirees and people from surrounding communities who have contracted the virus.

“Firestone Liberia is working tirelessly to protect and treat the approximately 80,000 people living within its community, and with their support, we’re able to broaden those efforts in the larger Liberian community,” said Franklin Graham, president and CEO of Samaritan’s Purse, who’s been working since April to fight the disease through a prevention education program.

Samaritan’s Purse has over 350 staff members in Liberia providing education and direct patient care. The Bridgestone Group has announced they will donate $500,000 to the charitable organization to help the organization’s home-based care program which provides Personal Protective Equipment kits to people caring for sick family members.

Firestone also operates a 300-bed hospital and has been treating patients in its Ebola Treatment Unit, which has helped 17 people survive the deadly disease. The company has also distributed educational material in multiple languages over the radio and has given protective clothing to some 80,000 people living on its property (about 7,500 are employees).

“Our Firestone Liberia teammates and community have selflessly met the demands of this deadly outbreak and we support them and the great work Samaritan’s Purse and UNICEF are doing in the region to help protect the citizens of Liberia and West Africa,” said Gary Garfield, CEO and president, Bridgestone Americas, Inc. 

Bridgestone will donate another $500,000 to support UNICEF’s efforts in Liberia and Nigeria. 

The funds are aimed at strengthening UNICEF’s efforts to stop the spread of Ebola through mass education for communities on essential prevention methods, promoting health and hygiene activities, providing medical and other supplies, supporting the government of Nigeria’s Ebola Emergency Operations and Care Center and the Liberian national taskforce. 

“We know that it will take everyone – every citizen, government official, health worker and company in the region – to provide the education, resources and supplies needed to stop the spread of this disease,” said Yutaka Yamaguchi, Bridgestone Group’s vice president.

Firestone Liberia is also working closely with local governments and the Liberian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the WHO and other organizations to help curb the spread of Ebola.  

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