Hunt Utilities Group and LINDAR step up to help provide masks to healthcare professionals and first responders

Ryan Hunt, President of Hunt Utilities Group (HUG), started a conversation recently with local community members to search for regional manufacturers that have the capability to produce face guards/shields for healthcare professionals and first responders. In the meantime, Ryan, and his father Paul Hunt, posted patterns on the BLC Community Ties group on Facebook for sewers to begin making hand-made fabric masks. 

In addition, HUG found 100 N95 masks in their storage and now they donated to Brainerd/Baxter Essentia Health. Ryan shared, “Many are working to pull together mask sewers with organizations that want masks. Organizations like nursing homes and birth centers need them.”

The CDC has loosened its guidelines in times of crisis and pandemics to include hand-sewn masks or bandanas if no other personal protective equipment (PPE), such as N95 masks or respirators, are not available.  See the CDC’s guidelines.  Patterns can be found online.

The Hunt family has also posted how to take the masks one step further in protection by soaking the fabric in salt and letting it dry.  See Paul Hunt’s salt mask post.

Tom Haglin and his team at LINDAR in Baxter are working with HUG on face shields. “LINDAR has passed along a face shield design to Essentia to determine if it’s the right fit and are trying to ascertain the need with news that 3M and Honeywell are increasing their production,” Tom stated.  

“Our medical workers are going to need more PPE, too, like the full suits, shoe covers, etc. There is an open source effort with lots of designs linked and reviewed. I want to call on all local makers and manufacturers to see if there is anything in their collected designs that they can adapt to make rapidly,” Ryan continued.

You can join the Open Source Medical COVID 19 Medical Supplies Facebook group for more information on how to help. Or, if you are a manufacturer that may have the capability to produce face shields and other PPEs, contact Ryan Hunt at ryanhunt@hugllc.com.

Ryan added, “Many companies are stepping up and many more are needed to meet the demand.”

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