HARBEL, LIBERIA (AUG 19, 2020) – Since the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Firestone Liberia has been on the frontlines, working alongside the Ministry of Health of the Government of Liberia, treating and caring for the Liberians living in the concession area – an estimated population of 70,000 people.
Actions taken by Firestone Liberia include the establishment of:
- an active contact tracing program undertaken by Firestone Liberia Health Services and in cooperation with the Ministry of Health;
- a COVID-19 Treatment Unit at the Firestone Medical Center, where all employees and their dependents receive treatment for COVID-19; and
- a secure and full service quarantine facility, designed in cooperation with the Ministry of Health. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Firestone Liberia quarantine center has served 314 patients free of charge with medical care, meals, and personal care items during their stay.
As with the Ebola crisis, Firestone Liberia has shared learnings and resources to bolster the Ministry of Health’s county response efforts to the COVID-19 healthcare crisis. These resource efforts include assisting the Ministry to expand its testing capacity, and funding the construction of a bio/hazardous waste incinerator at the National Reference Laboratory in Margibi County. In addition, the company is assisting with maintenance and repairs of Ministry of Health vehicles to support the Ministry’s efforts to deliver critical care to communities throughout the country.
In keeping with the company’s commitment to ongoing professional skills development in Liberia, Firestone Liberia’s medical internship program, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, has continued uninterrupted during the COVID-19 crisis. Six doctors completed their medical internships at the end of July, and at the request of the Liberia Medical and Dental Council and the Chief Pharmacist, through the Ministry of Health, four more doctors and one pharmacist will begin their internship rotations at the Firestone Medical Center this month.
Throughout the pandemic, the Voice of Firestone, Firestone Liberia’s public radio station, continues to broadcast educational programs to raise awareness on measures to prevent contracting and spreading COVID-19.
“During this time our most important priority remains the well-being and safety of our employees, their dependents, and our communities,” said Don Darden, Firestone Liberia’s general manager. “Firestone Liberia is committed to our ongoing partnership with the Ministry of Health to provide quality care while also ensuring appropriate awareness and prevention measures remain in place until this crisis is over.”
About Firestone Natural Rubber Company, LLC:
Firestone Natural Rubber Company, LLC traces its origins back to 1926 when The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company first established a natural rubber production facility in Liberia, West Africa. The company operates a 118,000-acre rubber growing and processing facility, employing approximately 5,400 people who harvest and process natural rubber. After processing, the natural rubber is shipped to North American Bridgestone Americas tire plants for the manufacture of tires. Firestone Natural Rubber Company, LLC is a subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas, Inc.