By CBSLA Staff

RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) — The state’s Emergency Medical Services set up an oxygen depot in Riverside County as the region struggles to help the increasing numbers of COVID-19 patients.

The oxygen depot, which is made up of two large oxygen generators that will fill large tanks used by hospitals, will augment the local oxygen supply. State officials placed it in Riverside County as a central location for neighboring counties.

“Oxygen suppliers are having a difficult time meeting the high demand of area hospitals due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Bruce Barton, director of the Riverside County Emergency Management District, said in a statement.

Staffers from the Emergency Medical Services Authority will be on hand 24 hours a day to fill oxygen tanks.

Hospitals up and down the state are flooded with COVID-19 patients, and are reporting shortages of staff and oxygen, especially in older facilities. The state has also requested and deployed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to help evaluate oxygen delivery system upgrades in the Los Angeles area.