Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic the N95 protective face mask has been something of a holy grail.

Considered the top of the line, the gold Cadillac, among the many masks that have popped up since COVID-10 reared its head they are also incredibly scarce and precious to local first responders.

Enter the Brendan Murphy Family Foundation.

Brendan Murphy had some connections in the pharmaceutical industry and through them was able to secure a pair of shipments of N95 masks, 200 masks in shipments two weeks apart, the second arrived Monday.

All for disbursement among local first responders, who are not exactly swimming in protective gear.

Brendan Murphy acknowledged the masks did not come cheap, but was also unwilling to discuss the cost the foundation incurred to provide the donations to local first responders, those on the front lines.

“He is a great guy,” said Port St. Joe Police Chief Matt Herring.

The breakdown of the 200 went like this:

*Enough to the Gulf County Sheriff's Office to supply each deputy with six masks;

*Sufficient numbers to the Port St. Joe Police Department to provide five masks per officer;

*And to the Port St. Joe Volunteer Fire Department sufficient masks to provide every first responder with five each.

“We are very appreciative of his donation,” Herring said. “We have a very limited supply of masks and these are supposed to be the best.

“We really appreciate his support and his donation.”

For the Murphy Family Foundation, Brendan, wife, Cindy their three children and five grandchildren, the effort was about demonstrating one of the many ways “private and public can work together in times of need,” Brendan said.

“These are tough times; people need to read a positive story about local government and private folks working together to help all citizens.”