Local business manufacturing face mask shields; donates first batch to local non-profit


PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB)–With face masks and shields in high demand, many businesses across the nation are switching gears and learning how to mass-produce personal protective equipment. One business right here in Bay County switched roles overnight; going from producing boat parts to products for those on the frontline.

“As of right now, we have put JetBoatPilot on hold and we are strictly doing the masks,” said Jennifer Owen, the Manager of JetBoatPilot.

JetBoatPilot, located in Panama City, typically builds boat parts and marine flooring. But on Friday, they began producing mask shields.

“We just hated to sit on the sidelines knowing that we could do something so this is really cool to be able to offer a kind of product that can help people on the front lines,” said Will Owen, the owner of JetBoatPilot.​

Owen says they’re using poly board and mylar film to create shields that provide an extra protective layer to be worn in front of face masks.

“The mask can be used longer because it’s protecting the actual mask, normally these come up to about here but this is gonna give you a little bit more protection,” Owen said while demonstrating how the mask shield works.

Owen says their goal is to produce more than 1,000 shields a day. On Wednesday, the business made their first donation as they donated 50 shields to Life Management Center of Northwest Florida.

“It’s heartwarming to know that a local company cares about us to give us a donation and that’s huge,” said Brittany Cole, the Marketing and Public Relations Director for Life Management Center.

Cole says it’s been extremely difficult to find PPE for their employees who are unable to work from home. With mental health needs on the rise due to the pandemic, Life Management must serve many patients face-to-face. She says they are extremely thankful for the new shields.

JetBoatPilot says their goal is to supply every individual frontline worker in Bay County with a shield free of charge.

“Basically any first responder or frontline worker that would like to call us and then they can just come by and pick them up for themselves,” Owen said.

JetBoatPilot will also be selling in bulk at a discount to organizations unable to secure PPE.

Owen says the shields are named “PS 91” after Psalms 91.

To purchase a shield directly, visit https://jetboatpilot.com/products/ps91-reusable-face-shield?variant=31805662265397 .

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