March 30 2020 12:24 AM

Associations cite first responders and maintenance workers as two groups that rely on the equipment.

Together, on behalf of their members, the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, Alexandria, Virginia, and the Equipment Dealers Association, St. Louis, Missouri, asked the National Governors Association to classify outdoor power equipment manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and service technicians essential during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The outdoor power equipment industry supplies equipment that powers first responders and the people on the front lines of this pandemic response. Portable generators, chainsaws, Jaws of Life and other outdoor power equipment are necessary to help medical professionals, firefighters and firehouses, utility linemen, EMTs and other health care professionals continue to do their jobs and keep Americans safe,” says OPEI President Kris Kiser. “We urge the National Governor’s Association to classify outdoor power equipment suppliers, distributors, retailers, and servicing technicians as essential during this pandemic, helping them help others get through this.”

“As our country responds to the threat of COVID-19, we believe that outdoor power equipment manufacturers and their dealers play an integral role in supporting the economy,” says Kim Rominger, president and CEO of EDA. “Equipment dealerships are responsible for servicing outdoor power equipment that is used by commercial service companies and government entities in the maintenance of roads, parking lots, medians and other landscaped areas, many of which have already been named essential businesses and must remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, they have a duty to remain open and service their clients that are responsible for ensuring the safety and accessibility of these properties.”

In their appeal to the NGA, the two associations requested that as governors consider further initiatives to contain the severity and duration of the spread of COVID-19, including potential executive orders, they ensure that businesses, homes, government, first responders and public utilities have access to the equipment, parts and maintenance services they need during this time of crisis.