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Local business making protective mask shields

NOW: Local business making protective mask shields

PLYMOUTH, Ind. --- A local window film business is stepping in to help with the nation-wide shortage of N-95 masks by making protective shields for those on the front lines.

People working in area hospitals or in law enforcement are risking their lives every day to keep the community safe during the outbreak.

Shade Master Window Tint in Plymouth often works closely with local law enforcement and fire departments.

The coronavirus pandemic inspired owner Marshall Clevenger to do more to keep those on the front lines safe.

“Their N-95 paper masks, they have to re-use them or use the same one every shift at least,” Marshall Clevenger, Owner, Shade Master Window Tint.

Clevenger realized he had protective film material that would make a fake shield to prevent those masks from getting soiled.

“All together we were able to construct these masks to help protect their eyes, but also to help protect the paper masks,” Clevenger said.

With the help of a local hospital, several different companies and a number of volunteers, Shade Master Window Tint has now produced about 200 shields for first responders to wear over their paper masks, giving them an extra layer of protection.

“We had actually four nurses from the local hospital on their day off, so they decided to come and volunteer,” Clevenger said.

The masks are made with only four different materials, but that does not mean that they are easy to make.

“That’s about 15 man-hours of work,” Clevenger said. “It takes quite a bit to put these together and get it all packaged up.”

Clevenger set stations up around the shop for volunteers to work on each piece—whether it is double-layering the film material, cutting up the foam or attaching the elastic—it is a long process.

“So typically I guess in the medical field these are throw-away items,” Clevenger said. “They use them once and pitch them, but we’re hoping we can clean them successfully, disinfect them and re-use them multiple times.”

There is a difference between the medical-grade protective shields and the ones made at Shade Master Window Tint. The new ones are longer, to protect below the face, and are made with sturdier foam. The idea is that the new ones can be taken off, sanitized and re-attached.

“This comes all the way down, almost to the chest and that way protects them completely if someone were to cough or sneeze while assisting them,” Clevenger said.

Clevenger said it is rare in a window tinting business that they are able to help so much during a crisis, but they are happy to lend a helping hand to those on the front lines.

“They’re there to protect us, they’re there to care for us, but they can’t do their job if we can’t help them out right now,” Clevenger said. “They need this kind of stuff.”

Shade Master Window Tint donated 100 shields to a local hospital and 75 for law enforcement.

Clevenger said they plan to help out as much as they can for as long as they can.

If you are interested in getting involved, you can check out the Shade Master Window Tint Facebook page here.

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