PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — As the State of Florida continues to keep up with demands for personal protective equipment, a local company in Panama City is helping to fill the gap.
Aldridge Converting Inc. (ACI) in Panama City is using materials shipped in from 3M to create protective face shields for Florida’s Department of Emergency Management, to be worn as PPE by first responders and medical personnel.
“We’re coming together like Americans have done since the beginning of this nation and we’re making it happen,” said Brandon Aldridge, VP of Operations for ACI, who contacted state officials after hearing of Florida’s continued need for PPE. “We got with the state, said we have material ready to go, and the state pulled the trigger on the purchase order so we are very proud to play our part here.”
So far, ACI has manufactured ten thousand shields in just three days; they will be producing 25 thousand of them in total.
Bay County Commissioner Philip “Griff” Griffitts and Rep. Jay Trumbull were able to get a look inside the process on Thursday.
“It’s pretty impressive,” said Griffitts. “It’s nice to see a local company really taking some, the entrepreneurial spirit and ingenuity to not only help the state but the nation right now.”
“It’s something that Bay Countians should be very proud of,” said Trumbull. “Something extremely local is going to go out and serve hopefully a whole lot of people, and keep people safe.”
From here, the shields will be sent to Orlando for inspection. Then, the state can then use them as needed during the pandemic.
“We’re happy to be able to do it,” said Aldridge.
He said they will be looking to hire two more employees to help them produce more protective equipment in the near future.