September 30, 2020
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Cooperative effort brings 1.5 million masks to Greenville – GSA Business

A Boeing Dreamlifter lands at Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport with about 1.5 million face masks for distribution throughout the Prisma Health system; 100,000 will be donated to MUSC. (Photo/Ross Norton)

A Scotsman in Greenville called some people he knew and caused about 1.5 million face masks from China to land on a tarmac at GSP.

It wasn’t nearly that simple, Neil Ferrier said Sunday afternoon as politicians, reporters and representatives from Prisma Health and Boeing watched a Dreamlifter land with the cargo at Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport’s Cerulean Aviation facilities.

“The full story of it would probably read like a movie script,” said Ferrier, owner of Discommon, an industrial design company. “It has been an astonishing series of events. I shouldn’t have been surprised. South Carolina is an incredible place for us and it was basically one phone call before we had 100% dedication to see this though from the partners involved.”

Discommon founder Neil Ferrier, right, talks with S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster as they wait for a Boeing Dreamlifter to touch down at GSP with personal protective equipment coming directly from China. (Photo/Ross Norton)Like health care systems everywhere, Prisma Health is constantly looking for supplies of personal protective equipment in its battle against COVID-19.

Discommon designs and sells high-end luxury products that usually have nothing to do with medical supplies. However, Ferrier was aware of the PPE shortage, and his connections in China said they could make medical-grade masks. He contacted U.S. Rep. William Timmons, who reached out to Prisma